After taking a big dip during the financial crisis, the economy has continued to recover and so has the number of people buying homes every year. That number rose from 306,000 in 2011 to 560,000 in 2016, according to Statista data. However, not every property for sale within your budget is for you. Many people, especially first-time homeowners, often overlook little things that make what appeared to be their dream house a regrettable purchase.
Basing Your Decision on Today
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. Before you sign for what at the time may be your dream house, consider the future. Are you planning on getting married, having kids, or moving jobs? For most mortgage arrangements, you will not pay down any real equity in the first five or so years. If you are not sure whether you will still be in the house within that period, you may want to put your decision on hold.
Poorly Thought Partnerships
A mortgage is a major commitment, and so is buying a home with someone. For example, if you get married, the law treats your assets differently. In the case of a divorce, your house will be one of the assets that will be distributed equitably. You, therefore, need a plan and an exit strategy if you buy a house with someone who is not your spouse yet. If you are married, have a written agreement on liability, mortgage payments, titling, and repairs, both as a couple and in the event of a separation. Involving a lawyer is a wise idea.
Mortgage lenders will calculate what you can afford based on several factors, including income, expenses, your level of debt, credit score, and size of down payment. A standard rule is that you should not spend more than 28 percent of your income before taxes on your monthly house payment. Also, experts recommend that you go for a little less than you can afford to allow yourself some flexibility and help you when you face unexpected expenses such as a failed water heater. You do not have to go for the maximum monthly payment you qualify for.
Ignoring the Little Details
Things like where to put your dog bowl, closet space, or placement of the laundry area can sound like frivolous features until you move in and your pet has no place to eat or run and the laundry room is downstairs while all the bedrooms are upstairs. If anything feels a little uncomfortable when touring the house, it most likely will be a big deal when you are living in there. Do not be seduced by a pool, green lawns, or the awe-inspiring promises of your real estate agent and forget the small details. Having spilled dog food every time because there is no space and other overlooked "little" details can be incredibly annoying.
Strenuous Accessibility to Major Commitments
Your commute time to and from work is affected by more than the distance. Check for traffic and any possible distractions like major construction that will mean detours for an extended period. If you have school-going children, check the logistics of getting them to the school that they will be attending. The same goes for other commitments that are significant to you, like sports training for your children or accessibility to long-term programs you may be part of. Do several test runs on different days and hours before you make an offer.
Always remember there is tomorrow when buying a home. It is wise not to commit all your savings and to leave some breathing room financially. Do not forget to check the neighborhood at night, speak to neighbors, and inquire about any weather extremes in the area.Share