The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, November 27, 2017

Home-Buying Factors You Might Not Have Considered

When you’re buying a home, there are many important things you consider, especially as a first-time homebuyer. You look at the kitchen, the backyard, the neighborhood, the total price, and many other factors. But there are many intangibles that you can miss if you’re not aware.

Buying a home is more important than just purchasing a piece of property. You’re changing your life in a significant way—so do your research and look into these factors before placing your offer.

School District

The school district your home is in can be indicative of other neighborhood factors. Parents and potential future parents should research a new home’s school district so that they feel good about their children’s education. Even if you don’t plan to have kids, you should still pay attention to the school district. Schools can have a major effect on taxes in the area, and they’ll also have a major effect on resale value.

HOA Fees and Rules

If your new home is under a homeowners’ association (HOA), ask for the fees and contract. Many HOAs have restrictive rules on fences, backyards, paint colors, and much more. HOA fees can become a significant monthly expense, so factor those into your budget. If you can, compare homes with and without HOAs and determine which option is best for you.

Neighborhood Characteristics

When moving to a new area, it’s sometimes easiest to just consider commute time and distance to amenities, but the neighborhood itself can be extremely important. Consider what the community is like, what sort of businesses are located there, crime statistics, and other important factors. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meet some neighbors, and see if you like the feel.

Hidden Costs

There’s much more to your home than just the mortgage costs. It’s important to consider all the costs, such as insurance, property taxes, utility costs, and more. You’re now responsible for all your repairs, so buying a home warranty could be a good choice to reduce your costs. You may need new appliances, depending on your housing market or the condition of the home’s appliances. If you use certain kinds of loans (such as an FHA loan), you may need mortgage insurance as well.

Talk to your Realtor about these factors and others before purchasing a home. They’ll help you make the right decision for you and your family.

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