If you’re a first time home buyer, or someone getting back into the market after a long break, you might not even know what to look for when buying a house.
There are a lot of factors to consider, and with such a huge investment, you obviously want to make sure you pick the best possible choice.
Yet ask around to well-meaning friends and family, and you might get conflicting advice, bad ideas, or even get talked into taking an unnecessary risk that winds up costing you.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could just hear it straight from the experts themselves?
You’re in luck. We sent out a single question to some our favorite home-buying experts, and over eleven of them responded to the one question most of us want to know: “What do you look for when buying a house?”
Read below to see what they had to say, and keep your notebook handy. There are some brilliant tips in here!
” Hiring an agent can be beneficial to you because their goal is to negotiate the best price in your favor.
Angee Thomas ~ Real Estate Agent ~ Keller Williams Realty
Location, Location, Location – should always be in the location that the client chooses. This can also tie in with the crime rate and sex offender list depending on the location. Making sure that you buy the house that you see you and your family living in. Sometimes buying a house can be a long process and most of the times people purchase a house because they are tired of looking!
No matter how long it takes you will find the home of your dreams, you don’t want to buy a house just because then regret it later down the line! School District – Most families want to live in a great school district for their children, especially if their children are small and they plan on living in their area for 10-20 years. Convenience to transportation and highways – living in New York this is always a major plus, especially if you do not drive people always want to be in distance of buses and subway stations.
Also, the convenience of supermarkets, post offices, and restaurants can play a major factor as well!! Hire a real estate agent!! Most people, refuse to hire a real estate agent when they are looking for a house because they don’t want to be committed to just one agent.
Hiring an agent can be beneficial to you because their goal is to negotiate the best price in your favor. They can also give you valuable information on a property of your interest before you put in an offer!
” First and foremost, choose the right realtor to help guide you through the process.
Cheryl Rouse ~ Realtor ~ Cheryl Rouse
Buying a home can be daunting in any market!
First and foremost, choose the right realtor to help guide you through the process. Meet with a trusted lender (your Realtor can direct you); and, get pre-approved.
What does your new home look like? How many bedrooms? Baths? Swimming pool? Lot size? Is a cosmetic fixer ok? What are your “must haves”? What are your “would like to have”?
Be willing to make some compromises – your budget dictates the type of home the current market has to offer.
The age and condition of the roof and HVAC are critical. Does the home have energy efficient windows?
Once you identify “the one” – look at the comparable sales to determine the current value; and, submit your best offer based on the current market trends.
Your Realtor will advise you. Before you know it – you will be in your new home!
” I encourage buyers to spend time, away from the crowds, in private, to linger and take in the views…
Craig Ackerman ~ Realtor ~ Ackerman Realty
When I’m working with buyers, I encourage them to get back to basics: think about how their lifestyle will be impacted in a given floor plan, with or without balcony, on what piece of land, in which neighborhood, up-sloping or down-sloping or level lot, etc. I encourage buyers to spend time, away from the crowds, in private, to linger and take in the views, think of how their children will be impacted, think of the conveniences of every day living.Is there an automatic garage door? Is the garage accessible internally, if so, do you have to go down a flight of stairs? Where will the laundry within the household be conducted? Are the storage area is well lit and easily accessed or otherwise?I simply encourage buyers to spend the time as a family thinking about how the home will function for them. Not to get caught up in the colorful staging or all the crowds coming through or the glossy brochure. Instead, focus on what it is that they’re buying, why it is that they’re buying it, and how their lifestyle will be impacted in days to come.
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<p><a href=”https://www.golansmoving.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-house”><img src=”https://www.golansmoving.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Stats-and-Facts-What-To-Look-For-When-Buying-A-House.png” alt=”What To Look For When Buying A House” width=”700″ border=”0″ /></a></p><p>Source: <a href=”https://www.golansmoving.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-house” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>What To Look For When Buying A House – Golan’s Moving & Storage</a></p>
” It’s usually better to purchase a home that has been well cared for rather than one that has a lot of deferred maintenance.
Ellen Pitts ~ Realtor ~ Harmony Realty
When buying a house, many people start first by considering what features they’ll want in their house and how big they need the house or the yard to be.
But before you can address issues like that, you’ll need to determine what inventory you will have to choose from. These are two things you’ll want to consider:Place of employment and Commuting Distance – In many cases, how far someone is willing to commute will have a big impact on what kind of homes they will have to choose from.
It doesn’t make sense to look at homes you like that will require an hour commute to your place of employment, if you are only willing to drive 30 minutes.
Also, don’t forget to check the commute time during rush hour., wish can be significantly different than weekend driving time.Condition of home – In many parts of the country, the market is still very much in the seller’s favor. But buyers often still want to get a good deal on the home they purchase and look for a “fixer upper” so they can buy a home for a lower price. But unless buyers will be making the majority of repairs themselves, these homes often don’t end up to be a cost savings for two reasons.The price of repairs are inflated. Due to a much larger proportion of Americans going to college, there is a lack of qualified tradesmen in the US. The lack of qualified contractors has pushed up the cost of repairs and also made it challenging to find people qualified to do the work. Unanticipated repairs – It is very difficult to estimate the cost of many repairs until you have done an invasive inspection, something not possible during a standard home inspection.
An invasive inspection would include removing drywall, siding or roof covering to inspect water damage, for example. You just don’t know how much repair needs to be done until you get behind the walls. In my opinion, it’s usually better to purchase a home that has been well cared for rather than one that has a lot of deferred maintenance.
” I would suggest looking for a home that suits your needs in the best possible location that you can afford.
Oriana Shea ~ Realtor ~ The Oriana Shea Group
I would suggest looking for a home that suits your needs in the best possible location that you can afford. You can make cosmetic fixes over time, but you can’t move the house, which is why you hear people say “Location, Location, Location”. I would also check out the neighborhood at different times of the day. See what it’s like after dark. What’s the traffic like during commuting hours. Say hello to the neighbors and ask them what they like about the neighborhood.
” Coming from the investment side of Real Estate I always find it wise to purchase with clear goals in mind.
Sheldon Steele ~ Realtor ~ Steele Realty & Investments
Of course the age old adage of Location, Location, Location still stands true. Buying a home can be a huge emotional roller coaster and having the correct representation can help you mitigate the emotion and see the process through a clearer lens. Coming from the investment side of Real Estate I always find it wise to purchase with clear goals in mind. Is this your forever home or a starter home? Is this something you plan on owning long term to later turn into a rental or something that you will sell in a couple years to move up? These are all important questions that will put you in the proper mindset allowing you to feel more confident and ambitious in your decision making. Purchasing within your means will often result in a more comfortable and enjoyable home ownership experience while increasing the outlook of your financial future! Last of all enjoy the experience and process it should be both fun and exciting!
” You only want to buy a very specific home or layout later in life when you have the funds to absorb a potential lose, because only a select few find it appealing.
Adam Stradt ~ Realtor ~ Adam Stradt Realty
The 5 most important items to consider when buying a home are: 1. Its location. Is it desirable to the masses? 2. Next is the layout of the home, is it efficient and desirable to a larger group of buyers? You only want to buy a very specific home or layout later in life when you have the funds to absorb a potential lose, because only a select few find it appealing. 3. Is the construction of the home above average making it flexible for future remodels and easier on maintenance costs?4. The next to consider is its re-sale potential. Are comps available on a consistent basis to hold its value? 5. Does this house feel like Home to you when you walk in?
” Be ready for it and have an open mind as there are several unpredictable news and situations that you may need to address…
Marie Akleh ~ Realtor ~ Arterra Realty
3 things for home buyers to keep in mind to establish readiness:1) Your pocket book – having the right budget is a must. Do you have the down payment ready? Are you pre-approved by your bank? With the right tools and mindset to buy the house you intend to own can be stress free for all parties involved. This too, translates to the number of rooms, bathrooms, # of garage or no garage, the total square feet of the house, house made of brick, wood, or vinyl structure and etc. that you can afford.2) Location – conveniences such as: shopping, medical centers, restaurants, distance to work, access to desirable schools and daycare centers, when there are children involved, and easy access to the highway for faster commute are also important.3) Timing – how soon do you want to move into the house?Four common scenarios to consider: A) If you are still renting, when does your lease expire? B) If you are a 2nd time home buyer, ask yourself, doI you need to sell first and then buy? C) If you are a first-time home buyer and wants to build a brand-new house be ready to expect 10-12 months before it completes and it is ready for you, and D) If you want to buy an existing home for the first time expect between 60-90 days after your offer to purchase gets accepted to close. Here are the other factors to cause the wait period:1. inspection, 2. appraisal and 3. your mortgage to process and complete to close. Be ready for it and have an open mind as there are several unpredictable news and situations that you may need to address at times and recognize and to make correct judgments. Remember existing homes are built already, have been lived in by prior owners – do expect TLC, repairs, and maybe possible concession to take place and these cause delays in the home buying process too.
” It always helps the process if you keep in good communication with your agent …
Josh Brecount ~ Realtor ~ United Country Real Estate
If I had to give my buyer my best advice on what to determine when buying a home here is what I would say:There are things to look for when buying a house. Things that you can change about a property, and things that you cannot change.
Make a list of your “MUSTS” and a list of your “WANTS”. If the property has all of the musts, and you feel like it can accommodate your wants, then it is a property to consider. Once you have a list of what you must have in a property, determine if they are things that you can customize to your liking, or they are things that you cannot change about a property.
For example if you want a home in a certain school district, that has narrowed it down to a particular area. Now within that area start looking at the next must, and so on, eliminating any property that cannot fulfill your Musts. Next go into your “Wants” List. Let’s say you want a Dishwasher, or a Finished Basement, if the home already has it, great, if not, consider if it can be done within your budget to that particular property. And continue this process. Important Note, give this list to your agent as well so they can also do the search as they may find something you missed.
It always helps the process if you keep in good communication with your agent so you have another set of eyes and ears within the industry.
Ask them to find something that is fresh to the market, or they may know of an expired or withdrawn listing.
Possibly ask them to make a few phone calls to potential property owners that have shown interest in selling their property in the near future that you are unaware of.
It only makes sense to tell them exactly what you want so they can help you find that property.
” All real estate agents are not treated equally, there are good realtors and not so good realtors.
Norman O’ Grady ~ Realtor ~ Prime Realty Group
The first thing you need to do is to get pre-approved. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a home, make an offer only to find out you’re not pre-approved.
Most good agents can refer you to a couple of reputable mortgage brokers that they know, like, and trust.
Secondly, all real estate agents are not treated equally, there are good realtors and not so good realtors. Interview a couple, see how prepared, and organized they are.
After all, your will be working with them for the next couple of months so you need to get a good feel for them, they will be advocating for you, negotiating for you, be with you at all showings, inspections and more than likely communicating with you on a daily basis.
Put a list of “Must Haves” and what you would like. Just remember you will not find everything you want in a home when searching.
And lastly, have fun! You only get to do this every 10 years or so. Some home owners have never moved again. Good Luck!
” Every purchase is different. What I look for in a home for a client is based on their lifestyle.
Chuck Simons ~ Realtor ~ Chuck Simons Realty
Every purchase is different. What to know when buying a house is based on a clients’ lifestyle.
Are they home much? What interests they have? Are they into ball sports, are they hikers, boaters, campers, or into autosports? Or, are they theatrical, chefs, educators? Each of these would need varying spaces. Yes, I also look for conveniences to transportation. How far away is the freeway on ramp. Do the buyers work close to where they want to live?Schools are important, even if the buyers have no students in the home. Traffic around the busy parts of the day may be of concern. I also look at entertainment venues. These all point towards quality of life.
We are so grateful to our home-buying experts for chiming in with some truly brilliant tips for buying a house.
Hopefully there were two or three game changers in the list for you (We definitely picked up some new ideas!) If you found the list helpful, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Which suggestions will you be taking with you the next time you tour a home?