Which home gives you the most affordable long term monthly payment? Remember this is a bill you will need to pay each month for the life of the loan (which is usually thirty years). Does one home cost much less than the other? Award a star to the home that is less expensive.
How large a home do you need? Will you be comfortable there for the long term? Consider any changes you might make to your family’s size, such as having children. Also, remember that a larger home is harder to maintain. Not only is there more to clean, but there will be more repair expenses. Award a star to the home that best matches your personal needs for size.
Look at the schools in your district. Visit them if possible and talking to the principals. Walk around the neighborhood. What is the condition of the other homes? Will this community suit you and your family into the future?
4. Condition of the home
Is it a fixer-upper or in mint condition? Your home inspection report will give you a lot of details. Award a star to the home that needs the least repair.
Look at the home through the eyes of an investor. Will this home retain its value? For instance, if the home is the most expensive on the block, it is a poor choice. You may love it, but it probably won’t hold its value.
6. Driving distances
How far is it from your workplace, the children’s activities, your clubs and the like? When comparing two homes you need to look at the time and expense involved in commuting. Long commutes get old fast.
7. Problem areas
Are there problem areas with the home? Are there any major expenses you will need to cover? Will you need to devote the next few months to renovations? Walking into a home that needs no work is always a plus.
8. Is there an HOA fee?
Does the home have Home Owners Association (HOA) dues? An HOA can be easy to work with or a nightmare. Make sure to visit at least one meeting to get a feel for what you can expect. Are there any lawsuits pending? What are they about? How much are your dues? Have they increased over the last few years?
Once you’ve answered all the categories, you should have plenty of information to make your final decision easy. Some categories may outweigh others because of your preferences. So use this as a guide to ensure you are happy with your decision for years to come.