A Few Things To Consider When Looking At Homes

Owning a home is something that most people hope to do some day. Part of the American dream is owning the home with a “white picket fence.” Buying a home can be a stressful process when you have little or no knowledge of the area. It can also be difficult if you are unaware of the steps that need to be taken to prepare you for your purchase. However, it can also be very enjoyable, as long as you are working with an experienced realtor that specializes in residential real estate in the area you’re interested in. There are several tips that can be helpful when looking for a home. Following are some tips that will help you get the best home within your price range and protect you from buying a home that has major problems.



is the first thing that you will want to think about when you begin the house hunting process. There are a number of factors that go into making a good location. One of the most important is the crime rate. Obviously, you don’t want to live in an area that has a high crime rate, especially if you have young children. Homes in better and safer neighborhoods are typically more expensive, but it is worth the money. The school district is another factor to consider. The quality of public schools are heavily influenced by the neighborhoods that surround them. Nicer communities have nicer schools and are able to provide a better education due to state and district funding that is invested in these schools and its teachers.


is the next thing that you should think about when you are looking at  real estate. Setting a budget is actually one of the most important steps in finding a home for you and your family. You will want to sit down and calculate how much you can afford to pay towards a monthly mortgage, plus other expenses, and go from there. Try not to look at homes that are out of your price range, as you may fall in love. Stay focused on what your budget can provide and this will save you and your family alot of time.

Take your time when looking for your future home, as you don’t want to make a rushed decision. Once you make a decision to purchase, make sure you have the property inspected by a home inspector to ensure that there are no major issues that can significantly decrease the value of the home.


Visit at various times of day

The windows that let in so much light during the day may be a peeping Tom’s dream at night. That seemingly quiet residential street may be a noisy, highway-feeder street during morning or evening rush hour; or it may be near impossible to get from your quiet street across traffic and onto the feeder street in the morning. The adjacent school may seem like a nice perk if you’re buying in the summer, but during the school year, daily playground noise and extra traffic may be more than you bargained for.


Look through recent newspaper archives

Make sure you’re getting information on what you can’t see. Perhaps the municipal water well that feeds your neighborhood has high levels of contaminants or a proposed high-voltage power line may soon be coming through your back yard. You can also check with the city or county to see if there are any proposed projects.


Get a home inspection

Virtually all houses have defects, according to National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents. Some will be obvious and most will be curable. But knowing what needs fixing can help you negotiate a lower price – or at least prepare you for costs you’re soon to incur. Strongly consider getting inspections, too, for lead paint, radon and wood-eating pests.


Pay close attention to taxes

Don’t just ask what the seller’s most recent tax bill was; ask what several recent tax bills have been. In some areas, houses are re-appraised – and taxed at higher rates – frequently. That great deal and good investment may not seem quite so grand if the property taxes skyrocket year after year. Again, look at newspaper archives or talk to your Realtor about the way taxes are used in this area. In some cities, schools are substantially funded through property taxes – which means you can count on yours increasing regularly.


Explore the surrounding area

If you’re not just making a cross-town move, you may not know that only three blocks away, this pretty neighborhood backs up to a dumpy commercial area or a less-than-savory part of town. If the home is near an airport, fire station, police station, hospital or railroad track, expect to hear trains, planes or ambulances throughout the day and night. Make sure you’re not too close to an agricultural area that may generate odors or kick up dust or other airborne problems.