Buying a house is pretty much like buying a secondhand car. You ask questions, look under the hood, test-drive, and see what happens. You can’t just make hasty decisions when buying a house, especially if it’s your first time.
But while navigating the home buying process can be challenging, it becomes so much easier if you have a clear path forward. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know before you buy a house so you don’t regret your decision in the long run.
There is more to purchasing a home than just picking your preferred listing, signing a check, and moving in. There are steps to buying a house, and these steps include determining what to look for when buying, asking the right questions, understanding the hidden costs, and more.
What are the things you need to consider before buying a house?
Since buying a home is one of the major financial decisions you will ever make in your entire life, it’s important for you to consider these things before you close on your dream home:
· Your personal finances
Like I said, buying a home is a major financial decision. You can’t just decide to buy a house unless you are sure you can afford it. As you prepare to buy your first home, keep track of your credit score and try to improve it as much as you can. This is because the better your credit score is, the easier it will be for you to get approved for a loan.
· The local market
Before you put an offer on a home, monitor the condition of the market in the area where you plan to make your purchase. Pay special attention to the length of time that homes in your price range stay on the Portland real estate market and if there are big shifts in the asking price.
· Your priorities
It’s always a good idea to keep your priorities clear to ensure that you know what to look for when searching for a home. Before you begin your search, write down the list of features you want your future home to have and make sure you revisit them as you begin looking for houses for sale Portland Oregon.
· Your lifestyle
Before you buy a house, do not just dream of the kind of home you want to live in. Instead, think about the type of house that will fit your lifestyle. As you visualize homeownership, consider what type of life you are looking to lead and how long you are going to be there. You’ll never know, the house you are dreaming of may not be the one for you.
· Your real estate agent
With your list of priorities and credit score in hand, start looking for a buyer’s agent in Portland who can help you find a home that fits your budget and criteria. Don’t miss this part. While some homebuyers choose to buy directly from the seller to save on commission, buying a home without a professional agent to assist you is a risky move. You need the help of a real estate agent who can facilitate negotiations between you and the seller and show you properties that meet your needs.
· The location
Sometimes, a great location is all it takes to make you want to buy a home. Some homebuyers can live with almost any flaw in a home if they love the location. If you’re buying a home, however, remember that you cannot change your home’s location so consider all the things you need to deal with first before making a decision. Is the home close to your work? Does it offer easy access to schools, parks, shopping centers, and public transport?
· The neighborhood
Just as the location should meet your expectations, the neighborhood should meet your expectations, too. As you decide whether you should buy a home or not, drive around the neighborhood on weekdays and weekends, during the day and in the evening, and observe if that’s the type of neighborhood you will love to have for your future home.
What should you watch out for when buying a house?
As you start looking for a home, come up with a list so you can get your search off on the right foot. Commonly, house hunters look at the number of rooms, the size of the yard, and the condition of the kitchen when searching for homes, but remember that there are so many other things you need to think over before making an offer. Don’t be too focused on the size of the yard or the square footage of the garden, because there are other attributes to a home that are even far more important than them. Here are some of the items you must watch out for:
· Roof condition
Ideally, a traditional shingle roof needs to be replaced every 20 to 25 years. Since this is a significant expense, it’s something you would not want to be stuck with right after purchasing your home. Make sure that before your purchase, the roof is still in good condition. Don’t hesitate to ask the seller about its age.
· Signs of foundational issues
While small issues like faded paint and broken light fixture can be easily remedied, foundational damage is not. If the foundation of a home is damaged, then you are looking at thousands of dollars in repairs. Before you buy a home, look for signs of cracking near its foundation and pay close attention to the grade of the floors for red flags.
· Energy efficiency
It pays to make sure that you are aware of the condition of the home’s insulation, especially if the property you are looking to buy was built several decades ago. This is because the better the insulation of a house is, the less you will have to spend on utility costs, particularly when it comes to heating and cooling.
· Water damage
Before you close on a home, watch out for signs of mold growth around pipes. If you spot mold growth, that’s a warning sign that something’s wrong with the house’s plumbing system or ventilation. Musty odors and peeling paint are also signs of excessive weathering, which may cause you trouble in the future.
What are the questions you need to ask before buying a house?
You’ve probably been dreaming of buying a house for years. You may have already considered how many bedrooms you want your future home to have, what kind of neighborhood you want to live in, or how you’re going to spruce up your garden. But like I said, buying a house is more than just about picking your favorite listing and moving in. Since home buying is a major investment, it’s better to take your time finding the house that’s right for you than being forced into something less-than-perfect just because you are pressured to make the purchase now. Know everything you need to know before you buy a home so you don’t regret your purchase in the future.
Here are the key questions you need to ask before you buy a home:
1. Can you afford it?
When buying a home, it does not really matter how much money the bank is willing to loan you. What matters is the amount you are comfortable to pay each month. Remember, the bank or the loan officer shouldn’t be the ones telling you your affordability. Instead, you tell them your affordability.
2. What is the neighborhood like?
Checking out the neighborhood is crucial before buying a home. When you look at the other houses on the block and check out the amenities within the community, it will be easier for you to judge whether the location of the home you are looking to buy will be good for you and your family in the long run.
3. Are there ongoing maintenance issues?
Find out as much as you can from the current owners of the home if there are ongoing maintenance issues. If the water heater tends to stop working or the kitchen sink has a slow leak, you’ll want to know about it before you close on a home. Factoring in these maintenance issues, small or big, is crucial when making your buying decision.
4. Are there upcoming replacement needs?
There are a lot of hidden costs in buying a house, so it’s imperative that you ask the current homeowner if there are appliances or features that are already nearing the end of their lifespan. Ask about any upcoming replacement needs and watch out for signs that something might need to be replaced in case the owner fails to disclose it to you.
Working with a real estate agent will help you a lot in ensuring that all the aspects of your home purchase are under control. Your agent will guide you throughout the home buying process and ensure that you make wise decisions along the way.If you are buying a home in Portland and are looking for an agent you can trust, call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today.
In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view What Do You Need To Know Before Buying a House in Portland Oregon? on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/uwRchgazH9c