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Tips and Warnings to Consider Before Buying a Home

Updated on October 11, 2011
Red House in Park by August Macke
Red House in Park by August Macke

Tips and Warnings Before Buying a Home

* Buying a home can be very stressful, so it is good to go into it knowing all you can and what you can reasonably expect. Being diligent, patient, and deliberate can help lessen the stress. Don't try to do too much too fast, or set any unrealistic deadlines.

* Your credit history is important. If you are young and don't really have any credit, or if you are starting over with your credit, get a card and be smart about paying it off consistently and on time. Be responsible with your credit.

* Get to know the area before you buy. Spend some time in the neighborhood, and use all the online resources you can to dig for more information on an area. Looking at local newspapers or at the news website can tell you a lot.

* Make sure to check everything out for yourself, over just automatically listening to other home buyers. They could be wrong about something.

I love this art by Johann Sebastian Dirr
I love this art by Johann Sebastian Dirr

*  You may be eligible for tax breaks, so find out what those are, if any.

*  Have money available in your budget for things like assessments.  If one comes up, its mandatory that you pay it and they can put a lien on your house or condo until you are pay it.  May as well pay it up front with savings.

*  If you are buying property to rent out, do all the homework you can on what is involved with lease agreements and other laws.  Each state can vary on their laws.

* For any big changes in the home, be especially aware of the load bearing walls that offer the greatest structural support.   Don't just knock those out or move them, and consider doing something else altogether.

*  Don't assume you can just build in the yard or around the house.  You want to clear things with the appropriate groups like an association before you enter into an agreement.  A lot of time, headache and money can be saved there. 

* Separate needs from wants. This is a good rule of thumb not just for when you are going to purchase a home, but for the rest of your life. Its more likely that you can afford more of the wants on occasion if you live like this all the time, ironically.

* Is the house close enough to the things you need it to be? Shopping, employment, education, and family, etc?

* Take everything into consideration, not just the house alone. Look at the community, land (is it in a flood zone etc.?), and neighborhood. Its better to have patience if you are not absolutely sure, than to wish later, that you had held off.

* How does the city, county, and state rank in crime? If you are getting a great deal in a super dangerous area, at least set money aside for alarms and guard dogs, etc. In all seriousness, if you are going to a dangerous area, you want to know.

* How are the testing scores in the local schools, if you have children? How will their schools and districts compare to others across the nation?  Are there neat community areas, like parks or pools that you can be a part of on occasion?  Local YMCA?


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you very much!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      Great tips on buying a new home.