Most tips for buying a home start with figuring out how much you can afford. But what else is there? Are there other tips for buying a home that can make a big impact? Yes! From our own experiences and those of our real estate colleagues, here are the top little-known secrets for buying a home you’ll love.
Know Your Borders
There have been situations where the previous owners of the property “blurred” the legal property lines, taking a bit more space than was theirs. Rather than discover that you need to move your fence three feet inward or possibly remodel your garage because it extended too far past the property line, get a surveyor to map out the legal property lines.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
It’s the American dream to own a big home. Indeed, we often measure our success by how big or expensive our home is, and it’s only natural to want the nicest house on the block. But consider this: if you plan to re-sell your home, the best house on the block will appreciate less than others. Home values are based not only on the individual home but also on the surrounding homes - essentially placing a cap as to how much houses go for in that area.
Don’t Buy Solely on Emotion
Some people make the mistake of falling in love with a home so fast that it fogs their ability to see potential problems. For example, buying a home because it has a custom-built treehouse and playset for the kids but overlooking that it will add 20 minutes to your work commute, could be a problem. Focus on logic and instinct to choose your new home, and don’t rely too much on emotion.
Understand the Neighborhood Nuances
To get a real feel for what it’s like to live in a new neighborhood, you should visit during various times of day and night. For example, all may seem quiet on a Tuesday afternoon, but what you don’t know is that your future neighbor likes to work on his car Saturday afternoons with loud music. Is that okay with you? Just like dating someone before you commit, date your neighborhood before you say yes.
Check with the Town Planning Committee
Is there a brand-new commercial development in the works that will be located across the street from your potential home? Decide if that is something you want to deal with over the next few years, and potentially forever.