Whether you are considering purchasing your primary residence, or looking for investment properties, it’s important to make sure you are making a wise decision. Too often, people purchase what they think is their dream home, only to find out that it’s more of a nightmare than a dream. To prevent making an extremely costly mistake, here are ten things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.
- Why is the price low? Usually, people are considering a home because it has a great price. If the house is listed for well under the market value, be sure you find out why. Sometimes there is a simple reason; the family is moving and has to sell quick, or the house is a foreclosure. But find out the reason for the low price tag prior to handing over your money.
- Are there any nice property attractions? There are several different “pluses” that a property can have, and they are nice to have. Is there a pool or a hot tub? Does the property have nice landscaping? Are there hard wood floors? Does the master bath have a garden tub? These are just a few of the bonuses a house can have that can attract buyers and increase the home’s value.
- Where is the home located? Is the house in a nice part of town? Where on the street is it located? A corner lot or a home at the end of a cul-de-sac is usually more desirable, and therefore more valuable.
- What are the costs of repairs and/or renovations? Homes with a low price tag are often low because they need either hefty repairs, or some serious renovations. Be sure that you evaluate the property thoroughly before committing yourself to a sale.
- What is the value and potential value of the property? Sometimes these two items are not one and the same. The as-is value is just that; what is the value based on the home’s current condition? The potential value is what it could be worth; what renovations can be made to increase its value?
- What is the current market like? Regardless of whether you’re buying a home to live in, or purchasing an investment home, knowing the current market is important. For one thing, market fluctuations will affect the home’s value. It’s important to only use a recent appraisal when considering purchasing a house.
- What are the property taxes? In some areas, property taxes are extremely high, and others are low. Be sure to research not only the recent tax bills but also how the taxes due are calculated.
- What is the surrounding neighborhood like? Try to stay clear of buying property in neighborhoods that aren’t attractive. If you see piles of trash in yards or along road sides, it’s usually a good indicator that property values are very low. Are the people walking around with weapons? How are the yards kept?
- What is the crime rate? Nobody wants to move to an area that has a high crime rate. Research the demographics of the immediate and surrounding area prior to buying anything.
- How many vacant properties are in the neighborhood? A large amount of vacant properties are usually a good indicator of a bad neighborhood. Try to stay away from areas where there are a lot of vacant houses.
The moral of the story is that searching for cheap houses for sale is not the best way to find a great house. Make sure you thoroughly research everything about a property before you sign your life away.
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