Ran across this list of 9 Real-Estate Deal Breakers from MSN recently and thought it was worth the mention.
Many future home buyers don't understand everything that goes or comes with buying a home and they tend to just jump into the fun of looking for a new home. They start by getting online to look at many of the different websites that are available and start their journey towards home ownership. This is fine and a perfect place to start, but once you've made this decision there are a couple other questions a future buyer should think about as the process moves along!
1. Do you qualify?
This is the first question you should think about when deciding if it is time to buy a home. Many first time buyers come to us interested in looking for a home and once they find one they love they then start the process of becoming qualified for the loan. To make things easier on yourself (and the agent) get pre-qualified first! That way when you start looking at homes you can look for and fall in love with ones that you know you are qualified for. Its a simple process and if you don't know a lender talk to your Realtor, they will definately have some suggestions for you and let you know what you will need to get pre-qualified.
2. Is this the right neighborhood for you?
Once you have been pre-qualified and have started looking at homes the next step is to look for a neighborhood. This is important, especially if you are looking in a new city that you don't know as well. Realtor's can definately help you if you don't know the area and are interested in it, otherwise if you are interested in certain areas go visit them and check them out. Driving around and seeing what goes on at different times of the day and week can give you a better impression of the neighborhood and if it's right for you.
3. What’s that smell?
Once you've found a neighborhood and a couple of homes that you are interested in go back and take a walk. There maybe something about that block that you didn't notice before like a neighbor that mows his lawn every morning or a smell from the sewer that's right on the corner. It's important to realize its not just the house and yard that you are buying into but what surrounds it as well.
4. Is it really a good deal?
This is where you Realtor can really help you out. They can run figures and find out information about the home and the prices of the area. It may seem like a good deal until you learn that houses around there are selling for cheaper and then you'd be the odd one out having over bought the home.
5. I owe more than just the mortgage?
There is more than just that initial price when it comes to buying a home. If you rent you may not realize that there are water, electricity, or gas bills as well. Or there may be association fees and then there are the taxes and insurance. There are also expenses such as mowing the lawn and general up keep. Make sure you do a sheet of all of these fees so you can truly understand what you may be paying once you buy the home.
6. My sofa doesn’t fit?
BRING A TAPE MEASURER with you! If you already have furniture then it's important to know if it'll fit into your new home or you may be buying all new furniture and praying someone will take the old ones off your hands for a decent price.
7. Legal issues
There is much more than just signing a document and check. There maybe other pieces that are just as important so if you have any questions just ask your Realtor and they can point you in the right direction.
8. Is the infrastructure sound?
Any Realtor will suggest you get a home inspection and they are usually worth it in the long run. Understanding the home is important and a home inspector can point things out to you and answer your questions. Plus knowing the house inside and out is important since you don't want any surprises once you've signed those papers.
9. The appraised value is what?
All homes are appraised prior to final sale, and with that there sometimes is a surprise or two. But not to worry your Realtor can help you either renegotiate or understand when it is time to walk away and find another home.
This is definately not an exhaustive list of deal-breakers and there are always new ones popping up.