It's often said that, when buying a home, the three most important things to consider are location, location, location. That kind of hyperbole is intriguing. But in real life, the truth is, there are a host of factors that come into play when you're in the market for a new home. With so many determinants in play, the process of selecting and buying a new home can be trying. The following home buying tips are offered to help you make the most of your experience.
*Location. Yes, although it may not be the only factor, it's a definite consideration. Families or couples who plan on starting a family, need to pay close attention to the school district. In today's climate, a history of good test scores isn't always an adequate indication of a good district. Be sure to ask about any trouble with delinquency, as well as the percentage of graduates who are accepted at four-year colleges. Even if you don't have children, a good school district is important for resale value. Also consider cultural and recreational opportunities, as well as the proximity of stores and employment opportunities.
*Price. No list of home buying tips would be complete without addressing the art of the offer. You may know how much you can pay, but do you know how much the home you're interested in is worth? Ask your realtor to see listings of homes sold in the neighborhood during the past 23 months, or head to the city clerk's office to find the sales information yourself. Don't rely on the asking prices of other houses; they may not reflect the final selling price. Also be sure to ask how long the home has been on the market. Generally, the longer a house has been for sale, the more willing the sellers will be to negotiate.
*Get a home inspection. This single tip can potentially save thousands of dollars in costly repairs down the road.
*Look around. When you see a home you like, be sure to explore the neighborhood to see who else - and what else - is in the area. Your street may have lovely homes, but a block over, there may be vacant buildings or a noisy business or highway.
Above all, take your time. Purchasing a home is a major life decision. These home buying tips can help you find the home you want at the price you can afford.