Buying a home is a huge decision. In fact, it is one of the biggest decisions and financial investments that you will ever make. Therefore, you must be discretionary when deciding where to live and to raise your family. When planning to buy a home, it is smart to have a checklist ahead of time that prioritizes your negotiable versus non-negotiable needs. This might be the number of bedrooms, square footage, distance from work, price and many other factors. Whatever your home goals are, there are a few factors that need to be carefully considered before signing closing papers. Take time to research things about the properties you are interested in and determine what makes a house feel like home to you and your family.
- School District
If you have children or plan to have children in the future, living in a good school district is essential. Look at what schools your children can attend in the area you live, and find out about academic ratings and educational opportunities in them. It would be quite distressing and disappointing to buy a house that is otherwise perfect but in a failing school district. Your child’s education is one of the most important things you can give to him or her, so be sure that your home is in a place where educational opportunities abound.
Some people do not mind a long commute. Some do not want to drive more than a few minutes to work or want to be able to use public transportation. Decide what your stance is on this, and be sure to factor that into your home-buying decision. Morning and rush hour traffic might change your commute time considerably, so look at those factors instead of just looking at the mileage from your house to the office.
- Safety and Crime Ratings
Whether you have a family or live alone, living in a safe place is a necessity. You do not want to live in a place where your fear is going outside or having your house robbed. Research public records about crime reports in the area. While there may be a few isolated incidents anywhere you look, stay away from any places with a pattern of violence and robbery. Saving money on a mortgage is not worth having to look over your shoulder constantly in your neighborhood.
- Resale Value in Neighborhood
The homes you are currently looking at may not be your forever home. You may move for your job or to be closer to other family members. So, it is important to know how you will fare if you ever try to sell your home. Consider how much the home will depreciate over time and if any home improvements could increase your resale value. For example, having swimming pool contractors Oklahoma City install a swimming pool or hot tub could increase your home’s value as well as landscaping your front lawn.
- Neighborhood Policies
Most areas where people dwell in close proximity have some type of neighborhood group that enforces certain policies and rules. This can include the number of cars you can park in your driveway at any given type, what time you can begin mowing your lawn in the morning and enforcing volume limits on music you play. While these rules are in place to make sure everyone is safe and living in a pleasant atmosphere, some might find these rules constraining. Find out what specific neighborhood policies are in place and make sure you find them acceptable.
- Size of Home
If you live alone, you will likely not need a home as large as you would if you had five children. However, if you plan to have a family in the future, the size of your home matters greatly. Square footage is not the only important factor; the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is an important aspect of planning for your family’s needs.
- Remodeling Needs
You can buy a home that is considered a fixer-upper or you can choose one that only needs minor repairs. Decide what types of remodeling projects you are willing to undertake and how much labor you are willing to put into sprucing up your home. Some people like the challenge of a fixer-upper while others find it stressful and overwhelming.
Last but not least, decide how much you can pay for your home. Most people go into some amount of debt to buy a home, but make sure that the amount of debt will not drown you. Speak with a financial advisor if needed to find out how much you can afford to spend on a home.
Choosing the right home for you and your family is no easy task, but with a few key points in mind, you can be on the lookout for the perfect home for your wants and needs.