Buying a new house is a big commitment and there are so many factors which you need to think about. Whether you are purchasing a new home for your family or you are looking to invest in real estate to make money through rent or resale, every aspect of the purchase must be given careful attention. For inexperienced buyers, in particular, knowing which steps to take and what to look out for can make all the difference between a great house purchase and a potentially disastrous one.
To help everyone out there who is looking to purchase a new property, here are some important things to consider before buying a house and lot.
1. The Asking Price
For most people, the first thing which you will of course need to consider is the asking price of the home. Trying to negotiate the best possible price is vital because there are always extra hidden costs which you may not have considered. Agent fees, taxes, and stamp duty all need to be taken into account when you are deciding on what offer you will make. You have likely been looking at multiple properties in the local area so be sure to compare the prices. Remember that the asking price is often open for negotiation so try to be firm but realistic when making an offer.
2. The Local Area
The local area is an extremely important factor when choosing where you want to buy a house. If you are house hunting in North Carolina, for example, you may want to look for areas where there are excellent schools for your children or where there is good transportation. There are many homes for sale in Reidsville, North Carolina in close proximity to excellent elementary and high schools which are ideal for families. Speak to neighbors and friends who live in the area and find out whether it is a good place to live. The better the area, the more expensive the properties, but this is the price you will have to pay for a house in a desirable neighbourhood.
3. The Size of the Lot
As well as the size of the house itself, you will also need to consider the size of the lot. Think about the needs of your family and decide whether the house you are considering has enough land for you. You may want to create a beautiful garden or add a swimming pool or a double garage so check that the lot is big enough and that there are no local building restrictions which will affect your plans. There is nothing more frustrating than coming to make your additions than suddenly be halted by red tape.
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4. The Survey
Getting a thorough survey from a licensed professional is so important because it will tell you if there are any problems with the house which you need to know about. The survey will show up any structural damage which the property may have and will also inform you about whether any work needs doing on the pipes and electrics. There may be a major problem like foundation damage or subsidence in which case it is best to just walk away. If the issue is one which you can fix, however, you should be able to negotiate on the asking price or even get the current owner to complete the repairs before you sign.
5. Potential Work
In most cases, unless you have had a brand new bespoke home built, you will most likely want to make some changes to the house after you move in. It is vital when considering which house to buy that you work out whether you actually have the time and money to do the work. There are some homeowners who really enjoy the challenge of a big project and focus on each area of their house one by one. There may be some areas which need immediate attention, however, so it is necessary to factor this work in when deciding whether you can afford the asking price. New kitchens and bathrooms, for example, can be very expensive additions but are often necessary within the first year of purchasing a home.
Once you have chosen your home and had it surveyed, the next thing you will need to do is finance the purchase. The majority of us are not in the financial position of purchasing our homes outright and so you will most likely need to put down a deposit and then secure a mortgage for the balance of the property. The size of the down payment required varies from place to place but it can be anywhere between 5% and 20% of the total price of the house. Mortgage lenders will make a decision based on how much you earn when you are negotiating with them about how much you can borrow, but you should be careful that you don’t agree to repayments which you know you can’t afford. The last thing you want is to have your house repossessed as a result of missing payments.
7. Resale Value
The last thing to consider before committing to buy a house is its resale value. It doesn’t matter if you are planning to flip the house quickly at a profit, or you are planning to move up the ladder in a few years, the resale value is very important. Be sure that the local area will remain desirable and that house prices will continue to stay steady or to rise. House prices generally trend upwards with regular inflation but if you manage to purchase in an area which is just about to boom, you could be in for some major profits.
Buying a house and a lot can be a great investment or provide you with a wonderful family home as long as you take the right steps. From paying a fair price to getting a detailed survey, you need to consider so many factors before signing on the dotted line. Always follow your head and not your heart when purchasing property and make sure you pay due care and attention to every aspect of the deal.