Once you've decided to buy a home, there's a number of issues that need to be
considered. Because buying a home will be one of the biggest purchases you
make in your life, learning the "11 Things You Must Know When Finding a Home"
can make the process easier.
In this report, we outline 11 Questions and Answers to help you
make informed choices when purchasing a home.
1. What Should I Look For When Deciding On A Community?
Select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life.
Many people choose communities based on schools. Do you want access to
shopping and public transportation? Is access to local facilities like
libraries and museums important to you? Or do you prefer the peace and
quiet of a rural community? When you find places that you like, talk to
people that live there. They know the most about the area and will be
your future neighbors. More than anything, you want a neighborhood where
you feel comfortable in.
2. How Can I Find Out About Local Schools?
You can get information about school systems by contacting the city
or local school board or the local schools. Your real estate agent may
also be knowledgeable about schools in the area.
3. How Can I Find Out About Community Resources?
Contact the local chamber of commerce for promotional literature or
talk to your real estate agent about welcome kits, maps, and other
information. You may also want to visit the local library. It can be an
excellent source for information on local events and resources, and the
librarians will probably be able to answer many of the questions you
4. How Can I Find Out How Much Homes Are Selling For In Certain Communities and Neighborhoods?
Your real estate agent can give you a
ballpark figure by showing you comparable listings. If you are working
with a REALTOR®, they may have access to comparable sales maintained on a
5. How Can I Find Information On The Property Tax Liability?
The total amount of the previous year's property taxes is usually
included in the listing information. If it's not, ask the seller for a
tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office. Tax rates can change
from year to year, so these figures maybe approximate.
6. What Other Tax Issues Should I Take Into Consideration?
Keep in mind that your mortgage interest and real estate taxes will
be deductible (USA residents). A qualified real estate professional can give you more
details on other tax benefits and liabilities.
7. Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?
There isn't a
definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its
individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may be in more
established neighborhoods, offer more ambiance, and have lower property
tax rates. People who buy older homes, however, shouldn't mind
maintaining their home and making some repairs. Newer homes tend to use
more modern architecture and systems, are usually easier to maintain,
and may be more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don't
want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.
8. What Should I Look For When Walking Through A Home?
In addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and
wish lists, consider the following:
- Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
- Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
- Is the house structurally sound?
- Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
- Is the yard big enough?
- Do you like the floor plan?
- Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage
space? (Bring a tape measure to better answer these questions)
- Does anything need to be repaired or replaced? Will the seller
repair or replace the items?
- Imagine the house in good weather and bad, and in each season.
Will you be happy with it year 'round?
Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Ask your
real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each home from a
9. What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?
Many of your
questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues.
Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing
maintenance (e.g., paint, roof, HVAC, appliances, carpet)? Also ask
about the house and neighborhood, focusing on quality of life issues. Be
sure the seller's or real estate agent's answers are clear and complete.
Ask questions until you understand all of the information they've given.
Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your
thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive.
10. How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?
If possible, take photographs of each house: the outside, the major
rooms, the yard, and extra features that you like or ones you see as
potential problems. And don't hesitate to return for a second look. You may also wish to find out if the home is available online. Photos of the property may already be up on a website for you to review.
11. How Many Homes Should I Consider Before Choosing One?
There isn't a set number of houses you should see before you decide.
Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average,
homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to
communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you're
looking for. It will help avoid wasting your time.