Buying your new house in Utah is a decision that you shouldn’t make right away. You have to sleep on it overnight and think about the features that you and your family need. Understanding your priorities will give you a clear list of potential homes that are ideal and worth your investment.
1. Explore the neighborhood
When you buy a house, you are also buying the neighborhood. You can repair a dilapidated roof, or change the home’s exterior design, but you can never change its location and replace rowdy neighbors. You have to make sure that the house you choose is located in a peaceful neighborhood and accommodating community.
Your real estate agent is a good resource for information like key amenities and home association policies. But you need to do your own research on specific information like crime rates, your neighbors’ lifestyle, and demographics. Realtors are careful about discussing the neighborhood’s financial and racial demographics because of the Fair Housing Act. This Federal Law prohibits real estate professionals from disclosing this information to their clients to prevent housing discrimination.
So you really have to do your own research and use your keen observation to evaluate the neighborhood. You can browse helpful websites, talk with law enforcement agencies in the area and have a conversation with your potential future neighbors. Don’t forget to drive by your prospected house at all hours to check the noise in the area. You don’t want to listen to heavy trucks rumbling at 2 AM or neighbors partying all night.
2. Bigger houses don’t always mean better homes
Some people have an obsession with big and luxurious homes. But buying a big house might not work to your advantage. Real estate principles even suggest that the biggest home on the block is not a good buy. If you opt to resell it in the future, it will only appeal to a few people who can afford it. So you will likely have a very limited pool of potential buyers.
3. Consider affordability
Buying your dream home should not be a future financial nightmare. The monthly cost of your home mortgage should be at least less than 40% of your net monthly salary. Make sure your finances is not only capable of covering the purchase price but all other housing-related expenses. These include insurance, real estate taxes, and homeowner association fees. Buying a less-expensive house means that you can still pay for the monthly repayments even during times of the tough economy.
4. Hire a home inspector
Before you say yes to a deal, ask a professional home inspector to check that the house is free from hidden issues. Yes, it will cost you over a hundred bucks, but it could save you from spending thousands in the future. If the inspector finds major issues you can either back out from the purchase or use it to bargain for a lower price.
House hunting is a difficult job as there is no crystal ball that will show you a clear picture of the perfect home. But if you let your needs take over your emotions, there’s an extremely high chance that you will find a great buy.