Once you find that seemingly perfect home that leaves you feeling like love at first sight, you might want to consider taking a second glance, or even five. We’ve talked about things we wish we’d known before we moved, but there are also some details you might want to find out before you put in an offer.
On the surface, they might not seem like a big deal to first-time home buyers, but considering these five tips might save you some regret down line.
Meet the Neighbors
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Someone with five vocal Saint Bernards? A disagreeable grump with a loud truck who works midnights? A conspiracy theorist who practices his ninja throwing stars while feeding whole pot pies to a possum? All of the above? Whomever it is, you better find out. Living next to, or on the same block as, someone you can’t stand can ruin your home sweet home. So introduce yourself to a couple of the neighbors and ask them if there’s anything to watch out for on the block.
Roam the Neighborhood
Make sure to spend some quality time in the neighborhood you’re considering relocating to. Visiting or just driving by at various times of the day will give you a good idea if it’s somewhere you want to commit to for many years. It will also give you a sense of the foot or car traffic at important times of the day – like before and after work and when you usually go to bed.
Do Some Research
Brush up on the city and neighborhood ordinances to find out any potential annoyances. If the city bans things like fire pits, overnight street parking or certain breeds of dogs, that would really put a damper on hosting your annual overnight s’mores sleepover with your friends and their pit bulls.
Roam on Your Own
Even if you have a real estate agent you absolutely love and trust, it’s a good idea to walk the house without them. After you get a guided tour and get all the information from them, make sure to roam on your own. You might pick up on some things you miss with their accompaniment. That way, when you meet back up with your agent, you’ll have some good questions they can, hopefully, answer for you.
Prepare to Offer the List Price – or More
Just because all of the people on those house hunting shows may try to shave a few grand off the asking price doesn’t mean you should. If the house is within your price range and meets everything on your wish list, it’s not worth the risk of losing it. Don’t lose a property over a couple thousand; it’s not worth it. For example, $5,000 over your 30-year mortgage is, before interest, about $14 a month. It’s important to note that lenders cannot lend more than the appraised value of the house. Therefore, you would have to bring the extra money to the table upfront at closing. Still, if you’re looking in a super competitive market and the house already has an offer on it, you might even consider offering above the list price.
Have any tips to make sure a home is offer-worthy? Leave them in the comments below.
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