The number one important thing to know when looking at buying a house is that you should keep all emotions out of the equation. In order to do this, make a thorough list of how much you want to spend, what you require in the home such as appliances and amount of space, and designated, desired rooms. You should also consider what will happen after you buy the house. Do the projections show that the neighborhood is ‘coming back?’ Does it look like the neighborhood has taken a turn for the worse over the past few years? These are important things to think about. When someone buys a home, they usually are considering the present, and it is wise to also think about the future.
Please be sure to consider all home expenses that the home will include. There is much more involved financially than the list price. You are going to have to pay monthly interest charges, annual taxes, different types of insurance (flooding, weather). And, depending on the type of house you buy, you may have to pay monthly fees to them, too. You must factor all of these things into the equation when looking at your budget.
Be absolutely certain that you fully understand the contract before closing the deal or submitting an offer. If possible, have a real estate attorney look over it, even if you feel that you understand it. There are often hidden meanings behind certain terms that only a real estate professional would catch.
Be very cautious of the neighborhood that you choose. You are not just purchasing a home, you’re purchasing a neighborhood. Buying your dream home is worthless if you won’t feel safe walking out of your front door or sleeping at night. A lot of times, very nice homes are cheaper because they are in shadier neighborhoods, but the buyer is psychologically enticed by the interior of the home. This is also due to ‘staging,’ a trick that interior designers and decorators use when selling a home. The reason is because proper staging makes a home look larger, as well as much more appealing. Unless you can afford spending $20,000 to decorate the living room, you need to imagine what your own things will look like in there.
The most important thing you should take away from this article, is that you should not buy a house beyond your means. When this happens, it is called being ‘house poor.’ You’ll have a great home, but won’t be able to live your life such as go on vacation, throw dinner parties, or many other things. Be sure that you can afford the down payment, all of the expenses, and still have enough money leftover each month to live comfortably.