Buying a house can be a really fun experience, and the process of choosing a home, going to viewings and experiencing the possibilities is something that a lot of people enjoy. The potential that each house has to be your forever home, before you walk in the door for the first time, is one of the best aspects of the process.
However, it can also be quite frustrating and confusing, especially if it is your first time, and there are many things to consider. With so much to keep in mind, it is easy to forget a few things. So, we spoke with Top10’s highest performing real estate agents and here are the 5 things you really don’t want to forget to check when buying a house.
It goes without saying that you should actually go to the home inspection, but you might be surprised by how many people don’t. Assuming you are going to the home inspection, it’s easy to get caught up on the interior, but you should not forget about the exterior, as this is where the expenses lie.
The first thing you will want to keep an eye out for are any problems with the foundation in the form of cracks in the walls, especially near windows or doorways. Repairs done to the foundation could cost many thousands of dollars to fix. The second most important thing to check is the state of the roof, and you should look for signs of damages, missing tiles or leaks. Repairs done to a roof could cost over $10,000, and most of the time isn’t less than $5,000 if you are getting a new roof.
The second thing to check when buying a house is your budget, and the first step is to not look at houses that are outside of your budget. Not only is looking at houses outside of your budget a bad decision, but you are setting yourself up for disappointment when buying a much less expensive house.
A helpful tip when calculating on your budget is to check your DTI, which means your debt-to-income ratio. The good news is that you don’t need to be an accountant to calculate this, you simply need to divide your total monthly expenses by your total monthly income. This is important because it is something that a bank will check when offering you a loan for a house, and you should stay under 43% if you want the loan to be approved.
The last thing you want to be is broke at the end of every month because your additional expenses leave you without much of your salary left, so you should aim for a percentage between 26-32% to live comfortably in your new house.
One thing that people forget to check when buying a home is the area in which the house is situated. You might notice this is something we talk about all the time (such as here) but it’s surprising how often buyers don’t take all these aspects into consideration. This can be forgotten for many reasons; falling in love with a house regardless of where it is, settling for the cheapest house that arises, or just not considering it when buying.
The area of where the house is situated is very important, and plays a role in a number of ways. When buying a house, you should check to see if it is close to any schools if you have kids, what the schools are like and if the area is safe. Other factors include if it is noisy, what the traffic is like, how far away it is from your job and the distance to the central business district and supermarkets.
Some more factors to keep in mind when considering the area is that if the crime is higher, then home protection will be more expensive, and you will probably have to think about getting insurance that covers more items. In addition to this, if you are going to make use of public transportation, make sure that it is available in the area.
Obviously this is a lot of things to take into consideration which is why so many people turn to the help of a buyers agent, especially when they are relocating to a completely new area. Buyers agents help to ensure that you pick the area that is right for you, for example you probably want an area that is up and coming rather than one on a decline, this gives you more chance of the house value increasing but arguably, more importantly being happy. We have selected the best buyers agents from all over the country to help you make the right decision on the most important decision of your life. So whether you’re in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or anywhere else in Australia we have buyers agents here to help you, just get in touch today.
Windows, paint and electricity
The next few things are maybe not as important as the abovementioned, aside from electricity, but checking for them can help to avoid unnecessary expenses. The easiest thing to check for when inspecting your potential home are the windows. They should not have any cracks, the window frames should not have cracked paint and most importantly, there should actually be windows.
The paint on the exterior and interior walls should also be crack free and not peeling off, and the walls should not be damp as this is indicative of another serious problem. The last thing that you want to be stuck with is mold, as this can have seriously negative health consequences.
Lastly, the electrical wiring in the house should be working properly, and each plug outlet should be receiving power. More importantly, the electrical wiring should be verified to be working by a licensed electrician, since to replace it can be extremely expensive, and can cost anywhere between $4,000 – $10,000 to be replaced.
When it comes to the rooms in the house, most people are generally concerned about how many there are, but you should not forget that there are other factors to consider. For example, if you have kids, then it is probably best to make sure that the main bedroom and secondary bedroom is on the same floor, so you can get to your children quickly in case of an emergency.
Another thing to consider is that if you are going to be working from, and you are planning on converting a spare bedroom into an office, the kid’s room(s) should not be close, since this will cause many distractions.
The bathroom is another room to inspect before buying a house, since it will be used quite often. Ideally if you have a big family, it would probably be better to have two bathrooms, but they should all not have leaks under the toilet or the sink. In addition to that, the water in the shower should get hot, and there should not be water leaking through the shower doors.