Buying a home is both a financial and emotional investment. It is easy to get wrapped up in the emotions of a new home purchase and forget about the finances. By focusing on the best questions a homebuyer can ask, you’ll be able to separate emotion from sound finances and wind up with a home that is the perfect mix of the two.
What Are My Top Priorities in a New Home?
Before you go look at your first listing, you should already have an idea of some of the main features you want in that home. While you may have to settle for a home that doesn’t have every tiny thing on your list, you won’t settle for something missing the big “must haves”. Things on your list should include:
- Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
- Special features that are “must haves” for you, such as an attached garage or open concept
Think in terms of things that would be extremely costly to change, such as having to add on rooms or rip out walls and you’ll figure out the best questions a homebuyer can ask to be sure he is getting good value for his money.
How Much Home Can I Afford?
Work with your real estate agent and loan officer to get pre-approved for a home. Your real estate agent can help you figure out an approximate monthly payment based on current interest rates and how much you have to put down on a home. You’ll want to make sure you can comfortably afford the house payment plus any other incidentals that go with home ownership such as yard care and utilities.
Is This Home in My Price Range?
When looking at a listing, ask if the house is either in your price range, or could be if a slightly lower offer was accepted. However, you should also look at any repairs or upgrades the house may need in the near future. Your real estate agent will help you find a list of homes in your price range that also match your “must have” list.
Should I Have the Home Inspected?
The answer is quite simply yes. A home inspection protects you and helps uncover any major defects in the home. Most sellers are willing to work with buyers to repair any defects or offer an allowance to cover part or all of the work that needs to be done, which can also save you money in the long run. A home inspection protects you from big ticket issues like foundation problems or electrical issues.
Are There Any Hidden Costs?
Hidden costs can include items like liens placed on the home, closing costs or even the cost to keep a large garden or yard in top shape. Think through all of the costs involved before deciding if this is the house for you. There is nothing better than finding your dream home, except for being able to comfortably afford that dream home.
Do you have more questions about buying a home? Daniel and Bonnie Wan are experts that can help you understand the ins and outs of buying your first home or your tenth home.