When you buy dinner at a new restaurant, you can return your food if you find it unappetizing. When you buy a new coat, you can keep it in the back of your closet if you decide that it is unflattering. Even when you make a major purchase, such as a home theater unit or matching living room furniture, you can relegate it to a storage closet or donate it to charity without undo repercussions.
However, a house cannot be discharged so easily. A house is usually bound together with mortgage debt and monthly mortgage payments for a long period of time. Moreover, you live in your house and will need to live with its flaws, as well as its good qualities. Consider these important factors when starting the home buying process to ensure that you will be satisfied with your purchase.
Location and neighborhood
Location is one of the most important aspects of your new home. This should be one of your most significant considerations during the home buying process. Drive around your selected neighborhood at different times of the day. Note whether there are children playing in the neighborhood playground. These can be playmates for your children. Are there noisy teenagers loitering on the street corners? Is this a safe neighborhood? Will you feel comfortable walking outside alone after dark?
Consider transportation factors. Does this neighborhood have convenient access to public transportation? How far will you need to commute to work? Are there wide, safe sidewalks? How is the street affected by rush-hour traffic? Are the neighborhood streets congested? The general location of the neighborhood is also an important thing to look for when buying a house. Take a drive in the neighboring areas. Is the neighborhood close to an airport? Does the quality of the neighborhood drastically drop a few blocks over?
Size and appearance
Before looking at houses, make a list of factors that are important to you in your new home. Consider your family size. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Bigger is not always better; heating and cooling larger homes can be expensive. A larger home requires more furniture and cleaning a large home is time consuming. You want to buy a house that fits your needs.
Carefully inspect bathrooms and kitchens as these are the most expensive rooms to renovate. Are the cabinets and fixtures in decent condition? If not, are you willing to invest money in renovations? Carefully consider your budget for renovations before deciding whether this house is the right one for you.
Structure, systems and technical details
There are many things to look for when buying a house. Consider the integrity of the structure. Are there cracks in the walls, improperly hanging doors or mold? These may indicate serious flaws in the structure of the home.
Check all the systems in the house, including plumbing, heating and air conditioning. Look at the electrical outlets for clues to the condition of the house's wiring. Old fashioned outlets indicate old wiring that may need to be updated. Are there enough outlets and is there an adequate electrical supply? Modern homes, with televisions, computers and a plethora of kitchen appliances, require much more electricity than older homes.
Does this house have sufficient closets for your clothes, kitchen cabinets for your dishes and a shed or garage big enough to house your vehicles and other items? Do you enjoy the sun streaming in the wide windows or do you prefer your privacy? Is there sufficient lighting?
The more time you put into thinking about the individual factors that are important to you in your new home, the easier it will be to find a home that suits your needs. Take all the necessary precautions before buying the home so that you will enjoy it for many years to come.