Purchasing a home is a unique experience, as it can bring happiness and stress all at once. We’ve compiled a few helpful hints to assist you in preparing to make such an important purchase as your next home.

  • Think Long Term and Think Re-sale Potential: Consider your financial future and family situation in advance of your purchase. Will you be expanding your family or the home itself? If these are possibilities, you should consider the value of the home or cost to expand it prior to being it.
  • Stalk the Neighborhood: When you’ve settled on what appears to be the right home for you, take a stroll through the neighborhood. This simple task serves two purposes: familiarity with the neighbors on your new street and a lay of the landscape. A short walk will give you a clearer picture of the type of residents who will surround you and the environment to which you’ll be relocating.
  • Make a List of Items to Check and Give the Home a Physical: In a fashion similar to car buying, it is a good idea to fully inspect the home before you purchase it. Make a checklist of your must-haves, nice-to-haves, and other items. Once you are inside of the home, check all of the items on your list and be certain that all of them meet or exceed your standards. Hiring a home inspector could potentially save you thousands.
  • Avoid Sleeper Costs: Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware of the other expenses, such as property taxes, utilities, and homeowner’s association dues. Your budget will primarily determine what you can afford to pay monthly, but do not forget to factor in additional monthly items, such as upkeep, in your budget analysis.
  • Be sure to Read your Contract before you Sign it: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is surprising how many home buyers do not fully examine their contract before signing. Often these documents are reviewed after it is too late and extra costs are already incurred. Most importantly, be sure that you have fully read your contract.

Becoming a homeowner is a process that can be filled with pitfalls, which can be avoided with a clear plan of action and attention to each detail. These few helpful hints are a great place to start your thought process prior to signing the dotted line for your dream home.