Know these Things before You Buy a Home

When you’re ready to buy a home, you’ll see all kinds of advice about checking your credit, having a solid down payment, an earnest money deposit, as well as closing costs, inspections, and moving expenses. While those things are very important, they aren’t the only expenses and tasks you’ll encounter.

There’s much more to the home buying process, and, it comes largely in the form of self-education. A little research here and there as you hear and see new terms will certainly be a part of your experience, but, other things are very important to know.

Know these Things before You Buy a Home

One of the single biggest challenges homebuyers face is being in-the-know. Unfortunately, as the cliche goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and, that presents a real problem. The best way to think about it is to take a good look at your day-to-day life and parse it up. That will show you what’s most important. For instance, when parents of young children move from one state to another for a relocation, or even one neighborhood to another, school zoning becomes important.

“A low credit score may hurt your chances for getting the best interest rate, or getting financing at all. So get a copy of your reports and know your credit scores. Errors are common. If you find any, contact the agencies directly to correct them, which can take two or three months to resolve. If the report is accurate but shows past problems, be prepared to explain them to a loan officer.” —

By the same token, it’s a matter of looking into the future. Remember one vital fact about buying a home, you’re not just purchasing a single property, you’re actually buying a stake in the neighborhood. Simply put, you can make home improvements, but, you can’t change the neighborhood. Here are a few more considerations to take into account:

  • Get to know the neighborhood very well. You’ll want to look into the real estate health of the neighborhood. New developments come with many perks, because they have new infrastructure. However, an older, established neighborhood might have issues, like slow storm drainage, or, nearby traffic congestion.
  • Learn about any future development projects. Another thing to educate yourself about is what’s in-store for the future. If there’s a lot of vacant land surrounding or adjacent to the neighborhood, chances are excellent it won’t stay that way. That can be very good news, because new commercial developments generally improve home values.
  • Calculate the amount of time (read: money) it will cost to move. While you might get three or more quotes from professional moving companies, what you probably won’t think to take into account is the amount of time it will take. You’ll not only need time to pack, but unpack, and get organized, which often takes far more time that the actual move itself.
  • Learn what you’ll need and won’t need. There are certain things you’ll encounter that are worthwhile and things that aren’t worth the money. For instance, you need insurance, but, getting extended warranties on new furniture and/or appliances is a waste of money. New construction often comes with a home warranty, but older homes won’t have the same advantage. You’ll have to learn what is and what’s not worth the money.