So, you’ve decided to purchase a home, and are probably wondering what to do and where to go next. Sure, you already know the basics, and will properly complete your mortgage application, shop around, hire an attorney, and so on. Yet, there are still so many things you may not have considered. The home buying process can be exciting, but still very draining. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a few, not so obvious tips to hopefully make things a bit easier for you.
1. Don’t become mesmerized by home staging:
When shopping for your perfect home, you will come across a few with nothing but the best inside and out. The perfect furniture, the prefect photo placement, and even the perfect apple in the perfect fruit bowl, on the perfect counter. As stunning as some staging layouts may be, do your best to look beyond the staging and make sure to consider all aspects of the home without the cool extras. After all, everything you see will be gone if you decide to purchase!
2. Consider the demographics in your potential neighborhood:
Perhaps you have already decided to do a little research on your potential new neighbors to make sure your family will be safe and sound in your new home. It’s great if you’re all set there, but don’t forget to check out a few other things as well. You may want to consider the ages of neighbors and whether that particular demographic will work well for your family. You may also want to consider neighborhood culture. For example, if you have children or just like quiet evenings, a party heavy neighborhood may not work for your family. Just something to think about!
3. Create a custom check-list:
Of course, you’ve already considered your must-haves and deal breakers, but don’t forget to consider everything in-between. It may be useful to think of features that would be great to have, but aren’t necessarily must-haves. Also, think about things that aren’t quite must-haves, great to have, or deal breakers, but maybe they fall somewhere in the middle. Approaching house hunting that way will help to keep your eyes open to hidden gems.
4. Prepare for miscellaneous expenses:
Preparing for mortgage payments and moving expenses are already priorities when considering your budget. However, when possible, it is great to factor in costs you may not have considered. These costs may include, income changes, medical bills, utility deposits, title insurance, land survey costs, and more. Thinking outside the budget box will better prepare you for that rainy day.
5. Consider contract clauses if you are joining a homeowners’ association:
It would be a wonderful idea to review HOA contracts before finalizing your plans. When reviewing the terms, you will want to have your long term plans in mind, and should be sure the contract fits with those plans. For example, let’s say you want to live in the home for 10 years, and wish to have tenants thereafter. The contract for the HOA may not allow renters in the community, and unfortunately, your plans will be out the window. Taking a peek at all paperwork before making the decision to buy can save you a huge headache down the line.
6. Don’t forget the address change:
Be sure to change your address at least 10-14 days prior to the big move. With so much on your plate during the first few days in your new home, missing out on important mail isn’t something you want to add. You can conveniently change your address online, or if you prefer to make a trip to the Post Office for a form and a few coupons, that option is still available!