9 Things to Consider Before Making an Offer on a Home
There are many things to consider when buying a home, in addition to things like number of bedrooms and overall square footage. Below is a list of topics you should do your homework on before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Search for neighborhood information online.
If you already live in the community, you may be able to skip this step, but it’s always a good idea to find out as much as you can about the neighborhood.
2. Check the crime report.
Your local police station will have statistics on crime and you can also go to www.crimereports.com to find information according to a particular address or ZIP code.
3. Check on the schools.
Even if you don’t have children, buying a home in a good school district is an important way to make sure your home maintains its value. You can find information on each school district website or go to www.GreatSchools.com for ratings.
4. Check for local amenities.
You can go to Google Maps for a Street View of a community to see what’s nearby, or visit www.WalkScore.com to find out what is within walking distance of the home. If you have a particular activity that you enjoy, such as tennis or golf or swimming, find out how far you’ll have to go to get to a facility.
5. Check for neighborhood amenities.
If you’re buying within a homeowners association, you can usually find information online about community activities, but even in areas without an association some neighborhoods have frequent community-wide gatherings or sports leagues.
6. Visit the home at different times of day.
If you want to know what it will be like to live somewhere, visit on a weekday, a weeknight and a weekend to see how quiet or active the area will be.
7. Test your commute.
If you only visit a home on a weekend you’ll have no idea what the traffic pattern is like during rush hour, which could have a big impact on your enjoyment of the property.
8. Talk to the sellers.
If the sellers are willing to share information with you, they’re the best resource of all to learn about the community and the house. You can ask the sellers about renovations they’ve done and even talk to them about whether your plans for the house are possible.
9. Ask about taxes, homeowner association dues, homeowners insurance and utility bills.
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