Home Purchasing Considerations

When shopping for your new home, there are countless things to consider: price, location, size, future potential, investment potential, condition, neighbors, schools, town ordinances, future maintenance and more.  Thinking about these things now can spare you some frustration down the road.

Price:  This issue, at first glance, seems to be a no-brainer.  You know what you can afford, right?  But do you really?  Have you calculated in insurances and taxes?  How about the fact that taxes rise more than they fall?  Will you be able to incur more debt after the purchase and still meet your mortgage obligation?  Be sure you can afford the move long before you make it.

Location:  The location of the home you’re looking at is important is several ways.  The location of the house in the neighborhood and how it’s set amongst the other homes may be perfect or it may look out of place to you.  The town the home resides in – is it convenient to your day-to-day living?  Is the home too close to a highway or an airport?  Is it too far from the schools?  Look into these things as soon as you can.

Size:  Young families grow and with that growth comes the need for more space.  Does the home you’re looking at have enough room for two kids?  Three?  Three kids and a dog?  Our best-laid plans sometimes go awry – it’s better to have too much space available than too little.

Future Potential:  Maybe this house has plenty of room for you now, but if your family grows beyond your expectations – will the property support an addition?  What about a garage?  Or a shed?  You might not be interested in these things now, but there may come a time that you will and it’s better to be prepared.

Investment Potential:  While homes rarely depreciate, their value can fluctuate depending on the home’s condition, condition of the neighbor’s property, the real estate market as a whole and other factors.  Be sure the area abutting your property isn’t going to be developed into a landfill or your home may lose its worth.

Condition:  While purchasing a “fix’er-upper” can be a great way to save money, make certain you will not have to invest too much money to perform the repairs.  Saving $30,000 on the purchase only to invest $40,000 in repairs makes little financial sense.

Neighbors:  These are the people you will be living next to for many, many years to come.  It’s a good idea to speak with them before you make the purchase just to be sure you’re not moving in next to a circus.  The way they keep their yard can be a good indicator of what you can expect from them in the future.

Schools:  If you’re purchasing a retirement home, schools probably don’t mean much to you.  If you’re just starting out, they are very important.  How far they are from your home, their reputation, their resources – all important issues that will affect you and your children for years to come.

Town Ordinances:  All towns have rules and laws governing what you can and can’t do – even on your own property.  The addition or garage you’re thinking about?  You may only build it if it meets certain requirements set forth by the town.  Can you burn leaves in your yard?  Check with the town.  Some laws forbid more than a certain number of vehicles on your property, others don’t care if you have twenty.  Look into these ordinances and laws before your purchase to save you a lot of frustration down the road.

Future Maintenance:  Does the roof of the home look like it may need replacing in the next five years?  That’ll run you about $10,000.  The driveway will need sealing next spring?  Are those old windows going to need replacing in a few years?  All these things will need to be dealt with shortly and they will cost you money.  If you don’t plan for that expense now, you may not be able to afford it later.

There’s more to consider when purchasing a house than whether your sofa will fit in the den or whether you like the kitchen wallpaper.  You’re going to live here for quite a while and you need to know what to expect before it surprises you on some random Sunday afternoon.  Do your homework now and save yourself a lot of aggravation later.

Jim Miller is a full time full service licensed Realtor® in the Southern New Hampshire area with Bean Group and has many years of experience buying and selling New Hampshire Real Estate

Contact Jim direct at 603-801-3987

Back to the Home Buying Tips page

Home Buying Tips

Buying a Second Home

Buying Homeowner Insurance

Buying NH Real Estate

Finding a Great Real Estate Agent

Five Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

Home Buying Term Definitions

Home Flipping

Home Purchasing Considerations

How to avoid Predatory Lending

Preventing Foreclosure

Purchasing a Foreclosure

Purchasing a Multi-Unit Housing Property

Renting an Apartment vs. Owning a Condo

Saving money on your mortgage

Taking out a Second Mortgage