You’ve finally done it. You’ve saved up enough money to put down a fairly good deposit on a house. But now that you’ve made it over the first hurdle, the thought of finishing the race can be overwhelming. After all, saving for a down payment is only one step in a long buying process.
Fortunately, you don’t need to get stuck at the starting line. By sticking to your budget and the goals you have for your first home, you can help make finding a house that meets your needs that much easier. Here are a few tips you can use to help you avoid potential problems when finding your first house.
Pay attention to the neighborhood
When you’re looking for a house, it’s important not only to look at the house but also the neighborhood where the house is. After all, you want to be sure that your family feels safe where you’re living. To get a feel for a neighborhood, visit the area during both the day and the night to get an idea of what the neighborhood’s vibe is. Pay close attention to other neighborhood features, too, like local parks, shops, and schools. The latter is especially important if you have kids or plan on having them soon.
Check out more than just the curb appeal
Landscaping alone can increase a home’s value by up to 12%, but it’s important to keep in mind what certain landscaping features could mean for you as a future homeowner. For instance, a tree in your yard may be beautiful but it can also mean special maintenance and upkeep to keep it healthy. A single tree can weigh up to 50 tons or more, and the last thing you want is that tree falling on your house during a winter storm.
Know what you want from a yard
When you’re looking for a house for you and your family, not only is a backyard a must-have but you’ll want to keep an eye out for a yard that specifically meets your needs. If you’re big on entertaining and love to host backyard barbeques, a larger yard may be more your style. If you prefer to let the dog outside to run around without having to be out there yourself, a fenced-in area is best. Just be sure, if you have a pet, that you install the right kind of fence. Many homeowners opt for chain-link fences because 40% of steel is made with recycled metal, but a chain-link fence can actually be harmful to dogs because their collars can get caught on it. Consider getting a wooden fence instead.
Don’t skip the inspection
According to the Community Association’s Nationaal and State Statistical Review, U.S. homeowners paid up to $88 billion in assessments toward community associations in 2016 alone. While it may seem like an additional expense, an assessment is important to make sure that the property you’re buying is safe. The last thing you want is to skip on a property’s inspection to save time and money only to learn that the property has roofing damage both you and the seller didn’t know about.
Finding a house can be tricky whether it’s your first time buying or your third round on the real estate market. By following the tips above, you can make finding your starter home at least a little bit easier.