Buying A House-12 Things To Investigate

Buying a house is a major financial responsibility with many factors to take into consideration. In most instances you will need a real estate agent, a mortgage lender, money for a down payment, and above all a house to purchase. Buying a house is not a decision that should be made overnight. You need to conduct thorough research on not only various aspects of the home, but also the neighborhood and area. Many consumers are blinded by the outer beauty of a home or neighborhood that they fail to recognize underlying problems. Here are 12 things you must check out before buying a house; whether you are a first time home buyer, or a seasoned home buyer.

Don’t Skimp On Checking These 12 Things Before Buying A House.

  • Crime Rates.
    • Before buying a house you need to make sure that is located in a safe place. If you find a few homes that you are interested in, compare crime statistics in those neighborhoods. Local government sites, and other sites like MyLocalCrime can help you view crime statistics in neighborhoods of interest.
  • Sex Offender Registry.
    • Checking out the local sex-offender registry is a must before buying a house. Knowing the number or registered sex offenders, as well as the proximity to the property in which you are interested in can help you make an educated choice as to if a house is or isn’t right for you and your family. Sites like the National Sex Offender Public Website, and Family Watchdog can be of assistance.
  • Neighborhood Amenities.
    • Before you buy a house be sure to check out all the amenities that come along with it. For instance, does it have a community pool? Are there nearby parks? buying a houseIs there a clubhouse? Is there easy access to public transportation? Is it within close proximity to entertainment, restaurants, and shopping centers? Though these may not be at the top of your mind during your home search, these factors contribute to housing values. Make sure that you buy a home with the right amenities for your present and future needs. This will result in future savings, convenience, and potentially higher re-sell value.
  • Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND).
    • U.S. News advises that though a home and its surroundings may meet your requirements now, this doesn’t mean it will in the future. Traditional neighborhood development, (TND) is something that many home buyers overlook. Over time communities change. Traditional neighborhood development projects may incorporate positive changes that affect your home value such as the building of a recreational park, school, etc.; but they can also result in unwanted changes to your surroundings. For instance, a highway overpass or new railroad system could be placed directly behind your new home and decrease your home’s value substantially.  It’s always a good idea to speak with your realtor about future development of the area where the home of interest is located, as well as check with your city’s urban development department to review upcoming plans for community improvements and additions.
  • Appreciation
    • When you are in the process of buying a home, it’s always a good idea to ask your real estate agent to provide you with an overview of how home values have either increased or decreased in your chosen neighborhood. This could be a good indicator of the potential resale value of your home. Don’t skip over this step, or you could end up paying for it in the long-run.
  • School District
    • If you currently have children, or plan to have children in the future, make sure to check out the quality of the school district across the neighborhoods that you are looking at. Homes located in good school districts typically appreciate at a higher rate, and could also boost your resale value. Not to mention the fact that your children, or future children would be getting a top-notch education.
  • Utilities
    • Utilities are something that many first time home buyers, as well as seasoned home buyers overlook when buying a house. As you look at homes and find ones that interest you, ask the realtor if he or she can obtain any information regarding the average cost for utilities, (gas, water, electrical, etc.). If you are able to get this information, compare it between the houses that you are interested in. Though it may not seem like a big deal, a difference of $100+ a month can make a huge difference when added to your new monthly mortgage payment, and other expenses associated with becoming a home owner.
  • Property Taxes.
    • Owning a house is a “big kid” responsibility, so it’s no surprise when there are “big kid” expenses associated with it. In addition to the down payment, closing costs, utilities, etc., you will also be responsible for annual property taxes. The Tax Foundation’s Property Tax Tool can help you see how your property tax bills would compare to other areas.
  • Neighbors.
    • Speaking with your potential neighbors can help you find out a lot about where you could be living. You may be able to find out things they love about living in the neighborhood, as well as things that could cause potential frustrations. Your potential new neighbors may even disclose information that the sellers didn’t bother to mention, which could cause a headache down the road. Speaking to any neighbors that you see out and about could really pay off, and help you make the best possible decision for you and your family.
  • Remodeling Restrictions.
    • If you are first-time home buyer, you may not be thinking of remodeling projects you want to undertake in the future, which could be restricted by a homeowner’s association. Before you purchase your home, make sure to check for any remodeling restrictions associated with the property of interest. This would include restrictions to exterior paint, landscaping, outbuildings, garage additions, etc. Limitations like this could make it hard to expand your home should you decide to add on to your family. When buying a home, you really need to think not only in the present, but in the future.
  • Mortgage Rates.
    • A home is probably the largest purchase you will make in your entire life; thus your mortgage will more than likely be the biggest debt you take out. Choosing an outstanding mortgage lender, such as Launch FCU, should be at the top of your list. Launch FCU offers mortgages for as little as 3% down for first time homeowners in Brevard and Volusia counties. We also offer top-notch service, fast turnaround time, and we won’t sell your mortgage. A major compliant that many consumers face is trying to track down the company that last bought their mortgage. Many times this company is located half way across the country, or even half way across the world. At Launch FCU your mortgage stays here throughout the entire term of your loan, meaning you will always know who to call or see should you have a question.
  • Credit Score
    • Last but not least, you need to take a hard look at your credit score. Typically, the higher your credit score, the lower the rate you will receive on your mortgage. If you are not happy with your current score, there is no need to panic, there are ways you can improve it. Before you jump into buying a home, you want to make sure that your finances are in order, and that your FICO credit score is at least 620. Consider taking actions towards improving your FICO credit score if it is below 620 prior to buying a home for an easier approval process, as well as a better loan rate.

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