Finding Your New Home
You’ve taken care of all the preliminaries. You’ve listed your needs, wants, likes and dislikes. You’ve found your Realtor, you’ve even gotten pre-qualified on your mortgage loan. The time has come for you to start the search for the best home to meet your needs. What factors do you keep in mind before heading out the door to look at properties?
Many home buyers make the mistake of focusing solely on price when searching for a home. Though price is worth considering, it shouldn’t be your central focus when looking for your home. The location and quality of your home should bear equal weight in your final home choice.
Location, Location and Location
Location is very important when choosing your home, though choosing where to live is often difficult for home buyers. Where to live is such an important decision; plus there are so many options! A good location to one, can be horrible to another. But a bad location, is usually a bad location to all. Experts suggest that you sacrifice something inside the home rather than sacrifice the location.
Here are some factors to consider when thinking about the location of your new home:
- Your Job: How far away from your job are you willing to be? Are you interested in commuting for over an hour per day? Are there convenient routes to and from your work? Will you be changing jobs in the next few years? Is there a chance for you to work at home? The location of your job is what most people consider first when choosing where they will live.
- Lifestyle: Would you prefer a busy area with the convenience of shops and entertainment venues? Or, would you be more content in a rural area, farther away from local amenities? If you decide you want to be close to much activity, are you willing to fight the traffic such busy-ness brings? If you choose the quieter route, are you prepared to drive farther for shopping and local services? Again, a good location to one family may be bad to another.
- Schools: Do you have school-age children in public school? Then, to you, the quality of the schools in the area is important. How are the schools rated with the state? Are the schools well kept? If the schools in your chosen location are not adequate, are there good private schools within your price range nearby? How will your children get to school? Check out our school page on the navigation buttons to the left to learn more about the schools in our area.
- Neighborhood: What type of neighborhood do you want? Do you prefer new construction, or a more established neighborhood with mature trees? If you have children, you would likely want a more family-oriented neighborhood so you kids can play outside. Would you rather live close to the main thoroughfares, or are you bothered by noisy traffic? There are so many decisions to make!
- Resell: Is the location of the home good for more than just you? Is it conveniently located to major companies and other places of employment? If there are some negative issues with the current location, and you get a discounted price, you will likely end up having to pass those savings along to the buyers of the home when you eventually sell.
Now that you’ve decided on the general location of your new home, it’s time to go on a some tours of available homes in that area. Make your time in the homes count by bringing with you a notepad, pen and tape measurer. If you are viewing the home, chances are you already have a sales sheet with a floorplan and general information about the house. Even though you’ll want to get a professional inspection on any home before buying it, there are things you can check for now in deciding if the home is right for you:
- Is the exterior finish of the home in good shape?
- Is there any rotted siding or fencing?
- Are the roof and gutters in good condition?
- Does the air conditioner seem to be in working condition upon first glance?
- Is the lot attractive for your purposes?
- Are the appliances up-to-date?
- Is the flooring adequate for your needs?
- Are there obvious cracks and fault lines in the ceilings?
- Does the interior need painting?
- Does the home seem well kept?