There’s no doubt that house hunting is a fun and exciting prospect. It’s easy to search for houses physically and online, see that perfect house that you’ve always dreamed of, and fall head-over-heels in love with it. The next thing you know, you’re picturing having a family there, hosting holiday parties for your family and friends, and all-in-all living out your glorious everyday life within those walls.
Before you swoon and fall hard for that new house or neighborhood, take a step back, take off the rose-colored glasses, and truly evaluate the situation you’re in. It’s essential to stay grounded so that your emotions won’t totally overrun reason. Here are our 7 red flags that you need to consider before it’s too late – ignore them, and you could wind up with a broken heart (and broken bank account).
You Don’t Qualify to Buy It – You might have a specific price range for homes in mind when you go looking for your dream home, but you very well may not qualify for that range. It can be very discouraging to start your search, looking at homes that you can’t even afford. Talk with a loan officer or mortgage broker early on to help you set reasonable expectations. Keep upfront costs, FHA loans, and the types of home you’d like to consider buying in mind.
The Neighborhood Is Wrong – Are you dreaming of living in a certain city or even a specific part of town? Before you get your hopes up, make sure that you truly know what you could be getting yourself into. That home situated by a park or school could wind up driving you crazy with constant noise and events held year-round. Perhaps your seemingly quiet neighborhood is stomping grounds for teens who like to pretend they’re drag racing each other at 3 in the morning. Be sure to spend some time in that town or neighborhood and soak up all that goes on, and keep in mind the cost for living and how long your commute to work will be. Additionally, take advantage of online databases that will give you detailed reports of specific neighborhoods, such as this.
The Price Isn’t Right – Is your dream home really a good deal? Don’t fall for the first bargain you see! Consider if you have the money or ability to purchase a home or care for a fixer-upper. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed DIYer, remodeling costs can add up very quickly. It’s true that it’s good to build up home equity when you fix up places, but ask yourself if it’s worth the price you’ll pay and if you’ll actually do the project. If not, take your search elsewhere.
The Extra Costs Are Way Too Hot to Handle – When you look to buy a home, you have to remember that you’re not just going to be paying the costs for the property itself. You’ll have to keep in mind that you will have to pay taxes, possible homeowners association dues, and homeowners insurance. If you found the home of your dream for an amazing price but the taxes wind up being $5,000 a year, the deal might not be as sweet as you were thinking.
Your Furniture Doesn’t Fit – It’s so easy to fall in love with a house that staged perfectly, but you have to keep in mind what all you have in your home. To avoid heartbreak (and breaking the bank), bring a tape measurer along with you so you don’t have to worry about spending money that isn’t in your budget for new furniture. Also, be sure to compare the total square footage of the new home to your current place and get the dimensions for each individual room as well.
The Infrastructure Isn’t Sound – There are a few minor flaws you can look over when you buy a home – undesirable paint colors, a room of outdated carpet perhaps. But a sagging or unsound infrastructure is a huge red flag that shouldn’t be ignored. Get a home inspection, and see if the seller will agree to fix major problems that are found. If the seller won’t agree to it or if the problems are beyond repair, it’s time to walk away from the deal.
There Are Other Huge Problems – A deteriorating infrastructure isn’t the only red flag you need to look out for. Other physical issues the home could have will wind up draining your wallet fast. These issues include septic that isn’t draining, an outdated electrical system, a dangerous level of radon, mold, and a sagging roof. If you see any of these issues or discover them through a home inspection, walk away from the deal!
Luckily, these red flags can be spotted through a home inspection, so be sure to get one done before you ever close the deal on that seemingly perfect place.
Are you ready to begin looking for that perfect house for you? Call the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! You can reach us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, or you can check out our many wonderful listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.