Finding the right house for you always involves a lot of research; what’s the housing market like, what are your finances like, what is your lifestyle like, and so on. To not feel so scatterbrained about the whole process, there are key questions you’d want to ask and compare before making the big decision.
What is my budget?
Have a set budget in mind so that you don’t overspend on any place. The last thing anyone wants is having a really high monthly loan, so choose a price that works for you. How would you know what’s your budget though? Use a mortgage calculator and figure out what works best if you set aside around 25% of your monthly income.
Is the area prone to natural disasters?
This is very important to know to make sure the house can withstand whatever nature has to throw at it. If thunderstorms or earthquakes are common in the area, is there safety within the house to not worry about leaks or cracks happening? Will you need to get earthquake insurance to cover the cost of damage? Will you need to increase the cost of homeowners insurance just in case? If major disasters are common in your area, make sure you’re well prepared to not have to deal with out of pocket repairs and rebuilding costs.
What comes with the house?
Usually anything that is labeled as a fixture comes with the house – cabinets, washer/dryer, water heaters, etc, however sometimes that’s not the case. This can depend on state laws, so check the listing description to see what exactly is included plus its condition. If no listing is provided, be sure to ask for one.
How old is the house and has it been worked on recently?
You may have found a beautiful 1970s styled home, that’s great! But the piping and roof hasn’t been looked at since then either, now that’s a problem. You’ll want to verify the condition of the roof, any appliances, and other major systems and see when they were last repaired or replaced. It’s never fun moving in to find out a month later you’ve got a water pipe that’s ready to explode from extended deterioration and have more repairs bills stacked on top of everything else.
How much are the neighboring homes selling for?
Understanding what the surrounding market is like helps you determine whether the seller is selling at a reasonable price, or is demanding too much.
How is the location?
How is the everyday drive from the house to work or school? Are shops and businesses close by? How close will you be to friends and family? How is the neighborhood as a whole? These are important questions to ask so you know the conveniences of it all. Are you willing to wake up that extra hour to get to work everyday now? Make note of the surrounding area to see if it fits or can work around your everyday living.