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5 Things to Know Before Buying a House

Home ownership is an investment. It means commitment and discipline. So before making that commitment, ensure that you are making an informed decision.

Realise that this can't be biased on the fact of how beautiful the home is or your desire to be on your own.

Happy family lying on the floor after buying house with boxes

Financial Situation

Qualifying for a loan does not mean you should take a loan. On the contrary, if you don't think you can qualify for a loan, you might be mistaken. When you consider buying a home, talk to a professional, probably a loan counselor at your bank and discuss your options. Have your tax income documents as well as a list of your expenses ready and a copy of your credit report. Try to find a home that is two and a half times your yearly salary. So, if you have a yearly salary of $65,000, you should not choose a house that costs more than $162,500. However, if you have large loan payments or other expenses, you may not want to go that high. Ask a professional to help you get a good picture of your earnings, expenses, and how they would change if you bought a home.

Property History

A beautiful house on several acres of green yard might look appealing. However, it could be hiding problems that will cost you thousands of dollars and hours of lost sleep in the long run. Find out as much as you can about the property before you buy. Even issues that have been repaired can give you an idea what problems you might be facing within a few years down the road. Get a home inspection and carefully go over the results with your inspector. If anything in the home makes you suspicious, don't hesitate to order another inspection from a different company.



A home isn't much good if it is in a terrible neighbourhood. Find out as much as you can about the neighbourhood before purchasing. Talk to potential neighbours about any issues the area has been facing, and check to see if there is a neighbourhood association or club. Scan newspaper police blotters to see if there is a large amount of crime in the area, and interview principals and teachers at the area schools, if you have children. You might also seek out PTA members or parents of children at those schools to learn more about the climate inside them. A neighbourhoods' aesthetic appearanceĀ is also important. You probably would not want to move into a home where yours is the only house on the street that is not falling down.

The Packaged Deal

Some home owners leave some major appliances, like a refrigerator and a dishwasher, when they leave the home, but if you see anything else that you like, check if it is for sale. Some sellers won't mind throwing their furniture or decorations in with the home since they are moving anyway. Make sure you and the seller understand exactly what is coming with the home before you sign the contract, and list the items on the contract if it makes you feel more comfortable. Also, confirm the land boundaries and whether outdoor structures, like portable sheds and above-ground pools, will be included before you sign on the dotted line.

Annoying Factors

Traffic jam on a highway

Every home has its annoyances: the fourth step creaks, or the neighbour's dog likes to drool on your porch. Even brand-new properties are bound to have some annoying factors. Try your hardest before you buy your home to know the difference between small annoying issues and deal breakers. For instance, extra traffic and noise caused by a school might not be something you are willing to deal with. Further, consider how having a difficult-to-remodel home will affect you in five years. Visit the home you are planning to buy as many times as you can; stay overnight if possible. Look for anything that would bother you on a daily basis. If you find something, look for another home.

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