Tips for Buying a New Home
It can be difficult to remember everything you like (and dislike) about all the homes you see. Here’s some tips to make it easier.
- Bring a Pencil and Take Notes – Bringing paper and a pen to take notes is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and impressions. You’ll also be able to write down any questions you have, such as “where’s the nearest grocery store?” and “what’s the best time to avoid rush hour traffic to get to work?”
- Be Sure You’re Not Judging a Book by Its Cover – Prospective homeowners are often guilty of judging a home by its appearance. Even if a house looks run down, it may be structurally stable, and may be fixable with a little work. Ask questions about its history, such as its former owner and what caused the damage. If the seller is not forthcoming, perhaps the house is hiding something.
- Ask Questions About the Neighborhood – Most homeowners are eager to tell you how great their neighborhood is and how safe it is to live there. These are usually a good sign. And if the neighborhood seems friendly and inviting, you’ll probably enjoy living there. However, if the neighborhood seems a bit shady or if people are rude, that may be a sign that you may want to reconsider your choice.
- Take Photographs – Taking photographs of important features can help you remember what you liked about that particular home. If you are looking at homes with a realtor, they can often send you a list of features to look for, which can be helpful.
- Make a List of Your Must-Haves – Make a list of the features you absolutely must have in your new home. These should be features that you will not accept compromises with, such as a specific number of bedrooms, a specific amount of space and a specific location.
- Make a List of the Nice To Haves – Make a list of things you would like to have, but aren’t deal breakers. These are extra features that are nice to have, but if they aren’t present, you won’t be disappointed. You might want a pool, an extra bathroom or a fireplace.
- Make a List of Things You Will Compromise On – Sometimes, there are some things you might be willing to compromise on. For example, if you really like a house, but you don’t like the color of the walls, you might be willing to repaint them.
- Haggle – Many homeowners are willing to negotiate the price of their home. If the price is a bit higher than you were hoping, you might suggest a lower price to see if the seller will consider it. If the seller refuses, then you can either pass or counter offer.
- Buyer’s Agents – For many people, buying a home is a huge decision that involves a lot of time and research. For this reason, many people choose to hire a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can help you find a home that fits your specific needs and might save you time and money in the long run. Buyer’s agents are paid by the seller. A good buyer’s agent will tell you everything you want to know about the home, and will help you find the best deal for the home.
Top Advantages of Owning Your Home
Despite numerous risks and responsibilities, millions of people enjoy the many rewards of owning a home. These include:
A home is generally a good investment
If you carefully choose a home you can afford, the potential payoff is great. Each month when you pay for your mortgage, you build equity. Basically, equity is the portion of the property that you actually own through your payments, versus the portion that you still owe the mortgage lender. The longer you stay in your house, the more equity you will achieve. Additionally, unlike most things you purchase, a home can actually increase in value as time passes, building even more equity.Please note that there are no guarantees that your home will appreciate.
Home ownership offers great tax advantages
Mortgage interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible. This allows you to subtract part of your housing-related expenses from your income, which could reduce your tax bill significantly. Many home owners do not take full advantage of the tax benefits available to them. This is where CitiMax Realty can help. We offer a free consultation to help you take full advantage of all available tax credits and deductions.
A first home often leads to a better second home
As you build up equity in your current home, it is usually easier to afford another home in the future. This has proven true for many generations of Americans. Buying a starter home is a great way to build equity and wealth.
You are better able to plan your housing costs
Rent increases are unpredictable, and usually beyond your control. You can not choose, for instance, a new landlord that may decide to raise your rent. Additionally, all the maintenance and repairs of your rental unit are your responsibility.
You gain the satisfaction and security of ownership
You can decorate and improve your home however you want. Owning a home can give you a new sense of pride in your community and encourage you and your family to plant deeper roots in your area. This is what truly turns a house into a home and is why so many people want to purchase rather than rent in California.