You think you know what house you want. You know you want 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a nice kitchen, but is that as far as it goes? Here are a few things that you may not think about when looking at homes to buy.
#1. The neighborhood. The neighborhood is more than simply looking at the community ones that you drive by and then making an offer. Looking that means taking a walk around the area, talking to people out in their front yards about the quality of the neighborhood, listening for any annoyances such as train sounds, freeway noise or incessant dogs barking. If the neighborhood close to amenities that you'd like to visit such as a Starbucks or a certain grocery store?
#2. The roads to and from the house. These are probably things you don't think about until after you move in but if you're community only has one entrance and there are hundreds of homes in the community, it can get backed up during rush-hour times. Or, if the home has limited access to public transportation or different routes to and from work, it could be a challenge getting home on time. What about a gravel road? Are you worried about your cars getting dusty, dirty or dinged up by the gravel of the road? Does the community have a homeowners association that takes care of landscaping and road maintenance?
#3. Energy costs. Ask the neighbors what type of utilities are used in this neighborhood. Will you be dealing with natural gas, propane, electricity, or oil? Maybe the home will have solar panels or geothermal heating. It's important to understand all of your energy costs before moving in as well so there's no sticker shock later on.
#4. Will this work for any four-legged family members? Do you have a dog or cat or any other pets? Is there space enough for them as in a backyard, litter box area, or space for other types of pets perhaps chickens, monies or even goats. Consider your four-legged family members and if you plan on adding anymore later time because I could make a difference as to which home you choose.
#5. Social activities. Do you plan on living down the end of the dirt road were very few people would travel or do you like being the center of the socialite community? Do you want to be close to churches, community centers, senior centers or teen centers? Asked the community if they have a board that you'd like to be a part of.
#6. School districts. Even if you don't have children yet but plan on having them in the future, getting into a good school zone or school district might be important now. Plus, it's important as a resale value to the house as well so getting in with a good school zone could be extremely important.
Taking the extra steps to check out these external variables to buying a house could either break or make the sale. Make sure you are comfortable not only with the house itself but the surrounding community.