Buying a home is a huge step. It will likely be one of the biggest investments that you make in your entire life. That being said, it is not a decision that you want to make lightly. Scott Midgette, Outer Banks Realtor helped many people in their process of buying a house in the Outer Banks. It is a beautiful area, with tons of attractions and things to see and do. If you are looking at buying a home, maybe some of these home buying tips will help.
Think Long Term
Many people have a bad tendency to not think long term when buying a home. This can be a huge mistake, as it is a decision you that is hard and costly to undo. Before you buy a home, there are a few questions that you will want to consider.
- Will you be having kids?
- Will you be taking care of any infirm or elderly relatives/friends?
- How long do you realistically plan to stay in the home?
- If you might move, what is your resale plan?
- What is the district like, is it likely to increase or decrease the value of the home over time?
List Features by Order of Importance
Emotions run high during the home buying process. Unfortunately, they can skew your judgement. To avoid letting your emotions govern your reason, lay out a check-list of features that you want from a home, and rank them in order of importance. Print out multiple copies, and bring them with you to fill out during every open house. Then, if a feature in a home really wows you, you can compare it to your checklist for an objective check on what it has to offer based on your needs.
Budget Every Expense
When you buy a house, you are not just buying a house. You are paying for principal, interest, taxes, insurance, etc. If every one of these expenses is not taken into account, it can mean big financial trouble down the road. But there is more to consider than even just the costs of home related things, like extra gas you’ll have to pay for a commute, or utility rates in the area. Be thorough, or you could end up with a much higher cost than the asking price of the house.
Read the Homeowner’s Association Contract
The bane of homeowners with renovation plans everywhere, a Homeowner’s Association contract can severely limit what you can do with your home. For instance, many HOAs will not allow homes to be rented out, so if you were planning on moving eventually and turning your property into profit, that wouldn’t be possible. Be thorough about your HOA contract’s limitations, and compare them with your future plans for your home.
Look Out for Grants and Supplemental Funding
You might think that the caps for all grants are extremely low, but often that is not the case. There are plenty of grants out there for all kinds of people. Some are based on profession (there are grants for farmers and teachers), and some are based off location (rural and poverty stricken areas), etc. Make sure to do your research so you don’t miss out on some major savings!
Read and Understand your Contract
As we said, this is likely one of the biggest purchases that you’ll ever make; that means you need to understand your home contract in its entirety before you sign it. If you have any questions at all, ask your mortgage broker or real estate agent to clarify. If they won’t take the time to do that, give them the boot; there are plenty out there who are willing to be transparent over making an extra buck.
Views Are Valuable
Unlike many features in a home, a great view will always greatly increase a house’s value. There is a caveat, however, as I cannot tell you how many times people have bought homes for a view, only to have development block that view years later. A home with a great view makes a great purchase, but make sure you own everything in between, or that added value may go right out the window.
Don’t Fall for Staging
There is a reason home staging is a business: like advertising, it will sway a certain amount of people, regardless of the actual quality of a home. A prudent home buyer will know to look beyond the staging. Not only can this help you save on price if there are two comparable homes, but you can avoid deceptive staging practices, which are much more common now with the advent of virtual staging.
Embrace Conventional Wisdom
Many of the tropes about buying a home still ring true. You should absolutely get your credit in order before a purchase, as well as have an emergency fund on top of a twenty percent down payment. Do not take shortcuts or fall for enticing tricks (housing bubble, anyone?), this decision is too important.
Embrace these tips, and you will have a much better chance at finding a home that works for you. If you are looking at buying a house in the Outer Banks, let me offer our assistance. I have helped many individuals and families make their home on the Outer Banks. Please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.