Purchasing a new home is not just about the purchase price. It’s important to consider other property costs, such as insurance and homeowner association fees.
Additionally, it’s essential to review the neighborhood and access to amenities. For example, a long commute can quickly dampen the excitement of owning a new house.
It’s easy to lower your expectations when searching for new homes for sale in Raleigh, NC, especially if you’re a renter. It can also be easy to forget that buying a house introduces new expenses like property taxes, homeowner insurance, and maintenance costs. The budget for these extras and other associated fees can add up quickly.
The location of a home is one of the most significant factors to consider. It’s essential to assume how far you’re willing to commute, traffic, noise levels, and other factors that may influence your daily life.
It’s also essential to research the area you’re considering moving into, including schools and the cost of living. Those factors can impact your quality of life and resale value. You can even test drive an area by driving around at night or early in the morning to see how you feel about it before you make a decision. Ensure that the schools are suitable for children and that public transportation is available, too. Having these things on your “must-have” list can save you time and stress during home-buying.
Homebuyers must determine the right size of a new home for their unique needs. Going for that extra square footage for a craft room, home theater, or sauna may seem tempting, but this is only sometimes wise. Additional space will require more furniture, energy bills, and maintenance time. It is vital to determine your ideal budget before house hunting and to stick with it throughout the process. It’s also critical to consider your motivations for purchasing a home, as doing so for the incorrect ones can result in concern over money. You must be prepared to stay in your house for a long time.
When it comes to finding a new home, everyone has specific priorities. Whether it’s the number of bathrooms, the size of the yard, or how close the house is to parks and amenities, there are certain features that many buyers consider non-negotiable.
Parents must choose a neighborhood with schools that meet their children’s needs. Similarly, for buyers who work from home, the ability to easily access their office, clients, or nearby family members may be critical.
Other considerations can include the proximity to public transportation, the ability to walk to restaurants and other businesses, and how quiet a neighborhood is (within reason, of course). Additionally, it’s a good idea for buyers to check out property taxes and gas prices in the area before they commit to a home. These can significantly impact the house’s overall cost if rates are rising. For this reason, buyers should also take the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage before they start shopping. A lender will look at your credit, income, and debt to assess how much you can pay.
If you plan on buying an older home, look for a list of renovations and repairs. It could include everything from new paint and fixtures to a complete kitchen remodel or addition. Unless it’s new construction, any upgrades will cost money and time. You can always hire a reputable contractor to help, but it’s best to know the possibilities before purchasing.
In addition to cosmetic updates, remember to check the home’s major systems, such as heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and electricity. If they are outdated or need repair, it will add to the overall costs and potentially create a safety hazard.
For buyers with children, schools are also a significant consideration. Many parents want to choose a neighborhood and school district that will ensure their children have access to the best possible education. Depending on the area, some schools have positive correlations to property values. For this reason, Zillow suggests taking the time to visit schools and get a full assessment of the system.
A home purchase is the most significant financial move many will make. As a result, it’s essential to shop for the right mortgage for your situation. You can find loan calculators on most home builder websites, and it’s a good idea to get pre-approved by a few lenders to know your options before beginning shopping.
Home loans are typically based on a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, credit score, and assets. Some lenders may also consider a borrower’s employment status, bank accounts, and 401(K) funds. It’s wise to compile the documents needed to apply for a home loan in advance, including two years of tax returns (if you are self-employed), pay stubs, and bank statements.
It’s also helpful to learn about the various types of home loans, which include conforming and non-conforming. Conforming loans are approved by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and usually offer lower interest rates than non-conforming, or jumbo, loans.