Most Common "Afterthoughts" That Lead to Home Purchase Regrets
Ever heard “shoulda, woulda, coulda”? I wish someone had pointed out the following considerations before I bought my first property. It could have been so much better...which led me to my current career as a Real Estate Broker. Buying a home should be a fun experience! You shouldn’t have regrets after you receive the keys. I'm hoping the tips below get you off to a good start so you can make smart decisions while enjoying the adventure. Once escrow closes, it'll be too late.
1. Your Guide: It should go without saying that your #1 priority when you decide to buy a home is to select the right real estate agent. By "right," I mean an agent you've vetted for experience, performance, accountability and professionalism. If you do this, you’ll sleep better at night knowing you've chosen someone who has necessary credentials to guide you through the purchase process and steer you toward wise investment decisions.
2. Hidden costs: Buyers often fail to consider the hidden costs associated with purchasing a home. These can include closing costs, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and maintenance costs. By working closely with an experienced lender through the preapproval process, you’ll get a fairly accurate assessment of all expenses up front and avoid surprises at closing.
3. Future needs: Consider future needs. For example, do you plan to have children or is it possible you'll eventually have elderly relatives living with you? If so, ensure that the home has enough bedrooms and bathrooms and the layout will accommodate everyone. Are you planning to age in place, and if so, will it work for you in your later years?
4. Neighborhood: Picking the neighborhood is as important as the home itself. Research the area thoroughly to ensure that it meets your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as the crime/safety, school district, access to public transportation, nearby amenities, and distance from places you are likely to travel frequently. Is the neighborhood improving, or declining? You may have heard “buy the worst house in the best neighborhood.” Keep this in mind.
5. Resale value: You may not be thinking about selling your home before you even purchase it, but it's important to consider the future resale value. There are many factors that influence resale value--too many to cover here, but I’m sure you’ve heard “location, location, location.” This will always be a leading criteria for value. Homes on busy streets, next to commercial businesses or across from schools tend sell for less, as do quirky or custom features that are undesirable and difficult to change. Poor floor plans, odd shaped lots, and architectural styles that doesn't reflect the personality of the neighborhood can also negatively affect value. Proximity to shopping, hospitals, recreational and entertainment spaces and transportation corridors are important to future buyers and should also be considered.
6. Home inspections: Once you've found a home you love, inspections are not a place to scrimp! Think of inspections as an intelligent investment. What you don't discover while you're in escrow, you'll pay dearly for later. Always get a general home inspection, and then any others recommended by your home inspector or agent. Thorough inspections by trade professionals can reveal underlying issues that may not be readily apparent. At that point, you still have the option to negotiate with the seller or cut and run while you still can.
I'll close with another familiar adage that seems appropriate here; "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Do you or someone you care about need assistance with a purchase or sale? Reach out to me. I can help
Until next time, may you be well and happy.