In purchasing a home there are some pretty hefty factors that need to be considered. Buying a home is likely the largest single purchase an individual will make in their lives and as such needs to be carefully planned. Any list of concerns can be loosely divided into two categories, that is, the neighborhood, and the home itself. Let us first consider the neighborhood.
Perhaps you have an ideal neighborhood in mind already. One that features the home style you love, has great access to amenities and seems to fit all your needs. If so, GREAT! If not, there are some things you need to consider. Proximity to schools and work is a good thing to start with. What kind of commute will you have to work, or to take the kids to school? In considering this, take a look at the public schools in the area. How do they rate? Or maybe there are some top notch private schools that would better suit your children's needs? Other aspects of the neighborhood such as the availability of medical care and public transportation are also important.
Take a look at the surrounding properties. How have the neighbors maintained their homes? The quality of the neighborhood has a definite impact on the value of any home in it, and yours will be no exception. If the neighboring properties are run down and ill-kept, perhaps a different area would be more appropriate. Also take into consideration any neighborhood covenants or restrictions, these are especially prevalent in gated communities. In addition, check with the local government about any special assessments or development plans for the area. Make sure that there are no "surprises" for the neighborhood that you are planning to move to.
The second area of concern is the home itself. The most important thing to think about at this time should be what you are looking for in terms of size, rooms, and features. Once you have located a home that fits your criteria, its a good time to consider the other aspects of the home such as structural integrity, type of heating and any other features that the home may possess. Another aspect of the home that it is good to know is the average bills for a month. What does it cost to heat the home? What is the gas usage and water cost? It's a good idea to know what the monthly bills are going to look like before you consider buying a home.
Another good thing to think about is the age of the wiring, heating, and water systems. Are they nearing the end of their life span? If so then it is a real concern. Old wiring can be a cause of fires and old heating/water systems can increase utility bills due to inefficiency. Speaking of higher bills, make sure to thoroughly check the windows to ensure that they are not letting out excess heat. A good inspection will pick up on this, but double check, after all, its you who will be paying the bills.
Other things you may want to consider are whether or not the home is connected to the city water system, or if it runs off a well, (as many rural homes do) is it connected to the city's sewage system? Does the basement have a sump pump or sufficient drainage if the need arises? If the home meets all of these concerns then chances are that it is a good purchase. If some of these criteria are unfulfilled then perhaps think about adding a few subjects to the sale. It is better to be smart and get the home with the features you want then to have the heartbreak of buyer's remorse.
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