It’s been said many times that for most people, their home is the biggest purchase that they’ll ever make. That’s one of those sayings that just about everybody knows, but it’s still true. Buying a home is exciting, complicated, frustrating and, when all is done, the start of a new adventure.
The Three Top Home-Buying Tips
1. Learn Everything You Can About the Neighborhood
After the closing, it’s too late, so before signing anything, spend time in the neighborhood. Bad neighbors can ruin a perfect house. Drive around day and night and on the weekend. Just because the neighborhood was quiet at 3 PM doesn’t mean that the neighborhood will be quiet on Friday night or Saturday afternoon. The home could be for sale because the next door neighbor is a party animal.
Walk around and talk to one or two residents. See how long it will take to get to a grocery store. Research the quality of the local schools. Living in a good school district can add 20% to the home’s value, compared to a similar home in a bad school district.
2. Tips on Putting an Offer on a Home
Don’t ever offer more than you can afford. Consider upcoming expenses, such as college tuition, that would make it difficult to sustain a higher payment. Look at the prices that similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for. Calculate the price-per-square foot to simplify making comparisons.
If the seller is behind in their property taxes, that’s good to know when negotiating; the information is available at the county clerk’s office. Don’t make a round number offer; an unusual amount will attract attention and make it appear as though you’ve given the matter careful thought.
3. Don’t Buy the Biggest House in the Neighborhood
The largest, most expensive house in the neighborhood is usually the worst buy. It is probably selling at a discount, compared to similar houses in other neighborhoods, but don’t expect it to appreciate much, if any, in value. The least expensive home in the neighborhood has the greatest potential for increasing in value.
The current mortgage rates are still very low at Prime Lending, making now the perfect time to buy in the Jacksonville area. To do some research before you start house-hunting, visit their website and run some numbers on a mortgage calculator. Then go looking for that perfect home!