15 Things To Consider Before Buying A House In South Carolina
It’s estimated that 5.25 million homes will be sold in 2019. Estimates for 2020 are even higher at 5.46 million. Buying a new home is an exciting time in a buyer’s life. But there’s a lot of things to consider before buying a house. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make a costly mistake. You may even make a decision you end up regretting. Thankfully, we’re here to help with our 15 favorite tips. Here’s 15 things to consider before buying a house.
1. One of the Things to Consider Before Buying a House is Needs Vs Wants
If you want to know how to prepare for buying a house, begin by listing everything you want in your dream home. It will be easier to find what you’re looking for when you know what that actually is.
But it’s rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you want, especially if you’re on a budget. To make things easier, create two lists.
One list should contain everything you absolutely can’t live without. The other list should contain everything you’d like but isn’t a necessity.
2. Create a Budget
It’s vitally important to know exactly how much money you can allocate towards buying a new home. Determining your budget will help you figure out which neighborhoods to look in.
You’ll also know exactly what you can expect in terms of the features and square footage you can afford. Don’t forget to add in extra expenses such as home improvements, taxes and, if applicable, HOA (Home Owners Association) fees.
3. Plan for the Future
Just because you’re buying a new home today, doesn’t mean you should only think in terms of what your wants and needs are now. Consider how long you plan on living in your new home.
And then plan for the future. If you and your spouse want children, you’ll want a home that can accommodate those types of life changes. If you’re planning on retiring soon, you may want to find a home that requires less upkeep and doesn’t have any stairs.
4. Learn Common Contract Terms
On the list of what you need to know before buying a house, learning how to read your contract should be one of your top priorities. Never sign any contract without fully reading and understanding it first.
None of the terms are complicated. Just do a little research first on common terms before you sign on the dotted line. And if you find anything you don’t like or understand, speak up before you sign anything.
5. Check Your Credit Score
It’s free to check your credit score once a year. Make sure you carefully look everything over to ensure all the information is correct.
Fix any mistakes before you apply for your mortgage.
6. Organize Your Finances
Find ways to pay down any debts you have before applying for a mortgage. The better your finances are, the easier it is to get a loan.
You’ll also have to organize your finances so you’re prepared to obtain a mortgage. That’s because you’ll be asked for certain information such as tax returns or to verify employment before you’re approved for your loan.
7. Factor in Additional Costs
Your costs include more than just the final price of the home. There are taxes you need to pay as a homeowner each year.
You also may need to buy more furniture, do some home improvements or pay a monthly HOA fee. Make sure you understand all the costs involved before you settle on a price.
8. Research the Local Market
Researching the local market before you dive in gives you a better understanding of what you can expect to find. This will also give you a better understanding of what neighborhood you want to live in.
If you’re new to the area, you’ll want to know what’s nearby in terms of shopping and groceries. And if you have kids, you need to have a good idea of what school is best for your child before selecting a neighborhood.
9. Get Pre-Approved by a Mortgage Lender
Once you finally find the home of your dreams, you won’t want to wait. Get pre-approved by a mortgage lender first.
This will also make it much easier for the seller to agree to let you buy their home. And real estate agents will take you more seriously when they know you’re serious and have the money to buy.
10. Use a Reputable Home Inspector
A home inspector checks to ensure the home is in good condition. But you need to find one who knows what they’re doing.
Look for a home inspector who is a member of an association such as the American Society of Home Inspectors. Walk around with them when they do their inspection and ask questions to make sure the home you want is safe and a sound investment.
11. Understand the HOA
Some neighborhoods and buildings have homeowners association fees attached. Often, they pay for things like maintenance, a shared pool or to hire an outside management company.
Before you agree to buy a home, make sure you understand what the HOA fees include and that you can afford to pay them each month.
12. Carpeting and Wall Color Are Easily Changeable
Ugly carpeting and horrible paint colors aren’t issues. They’re both fairly inexpensive to change.
What you need to focus on are things like the foundation and if there’s any mold present. Minor cosmetic issues shouldn’t make or break your decision.
13. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Just because the seller lists their home at a certain price, it doesn’t mean they’ll actually sell their home for that amount. Many homeowners are willing to negotiate.
And if you find other issues with the home during the home inspection, this puts you in a great position to negotiate a lower price.
14. You Don’t Have to Buy
In the end, you may realize the timing just isn’t right to buy a home. If you aren’t completely sure, you may be able to rent a home to see if it’s a good fit, first.
Even if you’re at a certain age, it doesn’t mean you have to buy a house. Many people from all ages rent until the timing is right.
In the meantime, you can save up as much money as possible for when you are ready.
15. Use a Trusted Real Estate Agent
Don’t make this stressful and exciting time harder on yourself by trying to go through the process alone. A trusted real estate agent can explain the process to you.
They also understand the market, the neighborhoods, and how to negotiate effectively.
Work With Us
One of the things to consider before buying a house is which real estate agency to work with. We’re just as invested in finding your dream home as you are.
If you’re ready to start the process or you just have a few questions, contact us.