Buying yourself a new home isn’t something you go into lightly. You need to ask the right questions, get some very satisfying answers to those questions, and make sure you’re truly sure about your decision here. After all, if any of the above falls through, you’re going to be wasting a lot of money, and could end up trapped in a home you neither like nor love! And if you were on the lookout for your dream home to settle into, this is going to poison you against house hunting forever.
But that’s why this post is here – we know just how tricky it can be to find a house you like, and then find out it really isn’t what it seemed on the surface, and it’s key to prevent you from getting your hopes up too early in the selling process. And in that interest, here are those questions we mentioned above that you definitely need to answer right now; never, ever let yourself purchase a house without double-checking what you’re getting into first.
Is it Really in Your Budget?
The first thing to think about is whether or not the house you’re looking at is going to be within budget, completely and totally without worry. For most people, this is their biggest concern, and a lot of time and attention goes into creating a budget and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. However, for some people, this step is far less researched, and that comes back to bite them in the long run.
Because when a house is over budget, you tend to pay for an overvalued home that will depreciate in the long run. You won’t ever make a return on your investment, and you certainly won’t have the wiggle room necessary to make renovations or remodel the interior. And that’s a real problem when you’re thinking of settling down for life!
So take the time to put together a budget that’ll ensure you know what you can afford. It can cut down the time it takes to find a house by half, and makes sure you have a finely curated pool of real estate to choose from. And not only this, but you can separate into categories – low priced, mid priced, and high priced, and go through them in order. You’re likely to find a house that you like in the first two categories, and that’ll save you from ever having to spend near the top end of your budget!
Is it the First House You’ve Looked at?
Of course, following on from the point above, finding a house that’s either low or mid-priced is a good thing, but you certainly shouldn’t settle for the first house you come across. Make sure you know what else is out there, and compare the houses together to come up with a pros and cons list.
Once you’ve got a few of these to cross-examine, you’re much more likely to find a place you’re completely happy with! Not to mention you can rest assured that you did shop around, and did plenty of negotiating, and got the best deal possible. Not to mention, when you find a house that just fits you, but you want a house that has more space, you’ll never forgive yourself if you agree to purchase and then find out there’s something bigger and still in the budget just down the street.
All in all, take your time, don’t enter into an agreement unless you’re sure, and don’t let yourself think you’re being overly cautious when you turn down another place that ‘could have been perfect.
What are the Utilities Like?
When it comes to investing in a new home, is checking out the boiler or the plumbing, or the AC top of your list? If not, it definitely should be! Because the utilities in your potential new home are a big part of what makes it a nice place to live, and if they’re not up to scratch, you need to decide on a few things. For example, if the house you’ve got your eye on has a fuel furnace, rather than a central heating system that you’d much rather have, and uses services from Tri Gas & Oil to keep the house feeling cozy and comfortable, would you be OK to move in there? And even if this wasn’t a dealbreaker, because you didn’t really mind about how the house was heated or insulated, would you be OK with the cost it would take to either upgrade, rip out and replace, or simply refine a heating system like this, if it came to it?
Similarly, where are you going to source your home’s energy from? Are you able to use a nearby 100% renewable company? How expensive are the options in your area? Would you be able to get solar panels fitted, if you’d like to use them? Be sure to ask the agent or the owner questions like these.
All in all, take these decisions into account right now and see how they fit into your long-term home plan. Make sure you know what you want from the utilities in your future home, and make sure they won’t take you over budget either.
Do You Have the Right Assistance?
And finally, you might want to use an estate agent to help you find a home, even if you think they’re a waste of time and money. Because when you’ve got an agent on your side, they’re going to act in your best interest, and help you to negotiate for the price you want, and help you to find the right house without having to do all of the legwork yourself. Most importantly, never ever let the seller’s agent do all the work – they’re still going to help out, but you’ll definitely want your own representative to be part of the deal as well.
So, should you buy that house? Only if it’s passed your testing standards!