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Home > Home Buying Tips > Things to Know about a Place Before you Buy a Home

Things to Know about a Place Before you Buy a Home


When you first begin shopping around for a new home it can be incredibly easy to fall in love with a property and make an offer on it before you even stop consider whether it truly meets all of your needs or whether there may be hidden flaws. Before you move too fast it is important to make sure you are aware of everything there is to know about a home.

The truth of the matter is that given the current economy and the housing market you need to not only scope out the house, but the surrounding neighborhood and local market. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where you will never be able to recoup your investment if you need to sell the property at some point in the future. Experts are now advising that it could take as long as ten years to regain your initial investment in a home. To make sure you do not suffer a serious case of buyer's remorse, there are several areas you need to investigate before committing to the purchase of a home.

First, you need to research whether there are any restrictions regarding the use of the land and what the process will be for obtaining necessary permits to rehab or renovate the property. If you know going into a home purchase that you plan to renovate the house, it is always advisable to find out in advance whether you will encounter any impediments. At the same time, it can be beneficial to find out whether the local surrounding area is open to building. Traditionally, areas of the country where there has not been a significant amount of building have been able to withstand the storm of the housing market better than areas where there has been limited construction. If the home you are considering buying is in a market with limited building, you have a much better chance of seeing your home value remain steady and possibly even increase.

Regardless of whether you have children or plan to have a family in the future or not, you also need to spend some time learning as much as you can about the area schools. Homes that are located in areas with good schools typically have higher resale values. If the local public schools are not strong, take a look into whether there are possible other types of educational alternatives, such as charter schools or private schools. If so, this can still help to support your home's value. If the local schools are not up to par and there are no or limited educational optional in the surrounding area, you may experience difficulty in the future justifying the asking price for your home.

It is also a good idea to investigate the employment market for nearby area. Most people today are extremely concerned about the state of the job market and will be hesitant to consider purchasing a home in an area where the projected job market is not strong. Take the time to investigate the area and find out what the project job market is for the locale. At the same time, investigate state of the population in the surrounding area. It only stands to reason that homes located in areas where the future population expected to grow will be able to maintain their value, whereas home located in areas where there is a population decline will be faced with reduced values.

Finally, investigate the property tax rate for that area and find out whether there are any special assessments that are added to the total tax bill. Many homeowners are late surprised to discover they are taxed for all kinds of things such as tree trimming in public areas, street lighting, etc. You can get a good idea of the kinds of special tax assessments you might expect by researching the matter through the county tax assessor's office. The current owner may also be willing to share this information with you as well. Keep in mind that even if you are not buying a single-family home, you can still face special tax assessments if you buy a condo. Homeowner's association or HOA dues can become quite significant if you purchase into a building where there are severe problems. If the HOA failed to budget properly or encountered unexpected repairs, you could potentially be looking at thousands of dollars, so it is definitely a matter that should not be overlooked.

While this type of research can take some time, performing due diligence before you buy a home can help to prevent you from regretting your purchase in the future.


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