Finding the Right Home for You
When you’re looking for a new home, the list of things you want in your new home seems endless. The key to getting the smartest home for you is to see how your new home will accommodate your needs and future lifestyle changes. Aside from enough storage space and the fenced yard for Fido, we compiled a list of practical things to look for when shopping for a home.
- The neighborhood
You’re not just buying a house – you’re also buying the neighborhood. Look at how neighbors take care of their properties. This could either increase or decrease your property value. Also, drive around the neighborhood at different times of day to see how neighbors interact. If you have a family, check to see if there are any kids in the neighborhood.
- The location of the home and how it sits on the property
Practically everything about a house can be changed except for where it’s located. Check noise levels throughout the day, as well as how close the house is to work, school, stores and highways. Is the house on the top or bottom of a hill? Does the house have a yard or garden? Which direction does the sun rise? All these factors will affect your daily life in the house.
- The size and floor plan of the house
Consider your future family plans and see if the house will accommodate them. Does it have enough space for a growing family? Or is it too big?
- The age and condition of the home
Although there may be nothing wrong with an older home when you purchase it, there can be costly problems down the road, such as repairs or replacement costs. New houses can also have problems. If you are purchasing in a newer subdivision, consider speaking to neighbors who used the same builder to see if they encountered any problems.
- Obvious problems with the house
Noticing water stains or cracked concrete the first time you walk through the house will save you a lot of time. If you’re not willing to deal with problems, move on to the next house instead waiting on the inspector to tell you about the issues that will need to be fixed.
- How long the house has been on the market
A house that has been on the market for a long time can indicate many things, particularly that it might be overpriced and/or the sellers are not willing to negotiate, or that it might have a problem.
- Get an Inspection
Hire a qualified, independent home inspector to work for you. The inspector will go through the house and give you a report on its condition. It’s well worth the cost of and gives you information as well as peace of mind.
- See if your furniture will fit
If you are not planning to buy new furniture when you move, you should measure your current furniture and compare those measurements to the houses you are looking at to see if your furniture is too big or too small.
- Post-purchase work
Will the house require a lot of work when you move in? For example, will the carpet need to be replaced or the walls painted? You need to determine if you will have enough time and money to complete the work to make the house livable.
- The home’s resale value
Try to determine how much the home will appreciate in value. This is based on the neighborhood upkeep, local school statistics, home maintenance and many other factors. You can ask your Realtor to get area statistics.
Thinking through these points will help improve your focus on what’s you truly need in your new home and what you would like to have. Plus, when it comes to considering your options for home loans, talk with your trusted credit union first.
This educational article is provided as a courtesy by your credit union’s home loan partner, myCUmortgage. For information regarding your unique home loan needs, please work with your credit union loan officer.