Finding the right house to buy is a major process. Some people may walk into a home and instantly love everything about it, but that’s fairly rare. In fact, sometimes people do this only to discover a year or so later that they didn’t think the purchase through. It’s vital that you take your time, do your research, and think through everything a property has to offer before you buy. While there are a lot of factors involved in determining whether or not a house is right for you, here are the three that always need to be right.
The Location and Neighborhood
If you’re not comfortable with the location and the neighborhood of your new home, you’re never going to enjoy living there. You want to make certain that you’re in a neighborhood that you feel safe in and that you like. If you enjoy quiet evenings and weekends, you’re not going to want to live near a college or some other location where people are out at all hours of the night and often have parties. If you enjoy walking to stores and restaurants, you may not fully enjoy living in the suburbs.
As many real estate agents say, it’s all about location, location, location. It often doesn’t matter if you’ve found the perfect house if it’s in the wrong place. Make certain you visit the neighborhood during the day, at night, and on the weekends, so you get an idea of what it’s like. Also test out your drive to work and to other locations, especially during rush hour traffic.
The Style and Condition of the House
Another important factor you must consider before buying a home is the style and the condition of the property. Style and architecture are both important because you want to like the look of your home. If you don’t, you may find that there are parts of the house you simply hate. You may intend to someday change those aspects, but sometimes that’s a very expensive idea. Other times, certain architectural features may be vital to the structural integrity of the home.
The condition of the property is separate from the style, but is perhaps more important. Some buyers are intentionally looking for a home that needs some repairs and updates. Others want to buy a house that is move-in ready and needs little to no work. If you don’t want to take on any home repair or remodel projects, it’s important that the condition of the home you’re buying does not require any.
Finally, of course, you want to be comfortable with your mortgage payment, down payment, and other aspects of the price. Everyone has a specific house-buying budget, and you want to be sure you’re staying within that budget. Remember that just because a lender has approved you for a higher amount doesn’t mean you have to buy an expensive house.
Keep in mind that lenders qualify you for an amount based on your current and past financial history. They don’t look at any upcoming expenses. If you have a child who is about to go to college and you know you will be helping them with tuition, you need to consider how that will affect your ability to pay your mortgage. You should also consider any large upcoming expenses such as a new vehicle, any planned vacations, and whether or not you have any medical conditions that could result in unexpected expenses.
If you find a home that has the right location, the right style and condition, and is the right price, you’ve found a property you can confidently put an offer on. Congratulations!