What to Look for When Buying a New Home

Written by on October 30, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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To find the right house, you should consider the square footage, location, insurance, property taxes, school districts, purchase price and condition of the house. Use this informative moving guide to pick up pointers and things to consider when purchasing a home.

Identify Home Requirements

  • Determine Location: Consider everyone’s needs before selecting locations. Would a home close to work or near an airport for traveling be more suitable?  Your choice of a home location may be based on the school system and whether the schools use a bus system or if parents need to transport kids to and from school.
  • Home Investment: Examine your financial responsibilities and your bills to decide what price of a home you can realistically afford. You should have a good idea before ever shopping for a new home, so you look in the right priced housing market. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage helps to identify what you can afford. Use these qualifying numbers as a guide. Do not forget about unforeseen financial emergencies altering your ability to pay the monthly mortgage, taxes and insurance.
  • Moving Guide Recommendations: Decide on a floor plan, the number of bedrooms and lot size. Determine the need for a family room and living room in addition to a dining room before house hunting. Consider the kitchen size and features. Is an over-sized lot, garage or swimming pool required?

Property Taxes and Insurance Costs

This moving guide includes taxes and insurance for first time home buyers who are often unaware of these additional costs. Property taxes are typically included in your mortgage payment and can be sizable. Always get a quote for the latest property taxes before buying a home.

Most people forget about insurance costs rolled into their mortgage payment, which also increases monthly outlay. It is a good idea to get an insurance quote from your agent for homes you are considering. Insurance costs normally increase in neighborhoods with high crime rates, older homes and those in poor condition. Increased safety and security devices reduce homeowners insurance.

Inspecting the Home

  • When looking at both new and used homes inspect the property and home carefully. New home builders can make mistakes so it is always wise to have a list of items to check. Problems can be noted during the walk-through on new homes.
  • If you want to purchase a used home it is up to the buyer to find problems and needed repairs. Stating noticeable repairs to the seller can often benefit the buyer. Sellers may come down on the price of the home or agree to make the repairs to seal the deal.
  • Check heating and cooling systems are functional and in good condition. Replacing major systems like these can be costly and should be taken into consideration when making an offer.
  • Carefully examine the kitchen, which is one of the most expensive areas in the home to remodel. Make sure included appliances are working and note the condition of flooring counter tops and cabinetry.
  • Check the roof, driveways, sidewalks, attics and basements for damage, leaks and needed repairs.

Hiring Professionals

A moving guide would not be complete without mentioning the services of an experienced realtor. Realtors save time and show the appropriate homes for your needs and price range. Buyers can hire home inspectors to evaluate the home. Inspectors examine the home and provide detailed reports indicating needed repairs and problems. Home inspection reports can prevent buying a poor investment.

Before making an offer, take into consideration the amount of repairs or remodeling required. In a buyer’s market, you are more likely to negotiate repairs and get a better price for the home.

Image by Alan Cleaver and licensed through Creative Commons.

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This is a guest post.  Paul Benjamin works for EZ Storage, a self storage company, click here to learn more about Huntingdon Valley EZ Storage unit sizes and specials. 

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