Tips to Buy a House In Your City

Once word circulates that you’re actively looking, it seems everyone and their cousin has tips for buying a house. You may feel adrift in unsolicited advice, brochures, business cards, and confusion. Never fear. Here are the four most common pitfalls buyers make, and how to avoid them.

Buying way too big. We’ve all seen it. Couples with vague future ideas of a child or two jumping into that five-bedroom, four-bath Victorian. The elderly couple buying a small cottage surrounded by acres of manicured lawn and plantings. Don’t let it happen to you. Buy a house to suit your needs now and for the next five years. Building on later is cheaper than paying to heat, decorate, and satisfy interest on wasted space. Your kids will not suffer emotional trauma by sharing a room, either. Honest.

Failing to investigate the neighbors. If you don’t mind your neighbors’ nude sunbathing, putrid garbage, or loud romantic interludes, then by all means view the property once and buy it. Seriously, insist on a day and night-time viewing. Drive by a few times throughout the week with your windows down and listen. Walk the property and grounds several times. What you hear, smell or see may surprise you.

Letting the bank decide what you can afford. This is perhaps one of the most astute tips for buying a house- know your comfort zone. Only you know your budget, your income expectations, and your spending habits. If you are approved for a monthly mortgage payment of nine hundred dollars, but only feel comfortable committing to six hundred, do not be swayed. You are in control. Demand, gently, to be shown only homes you feel you can afford. Be honest and forthright with your agent about this. Look out for your own financial safety and hold your ground on price range.

Viewing a house as a short-term investment. A house is worth nothing unless someone is willing to write you a check for it. In today’s slumping economy, your house could lose value in an instant. Or, even if value holds, there may be no buyers with the financial backing to make an offer. It’s worth should be shelter first. Any increase in value should be taken as a happy windfall, not a guaranteed entitlement.

For many, a home is the largest purchase you will ever make. By utilizing these four tips for buying a house, you can select one that meets your needs without causing financial strain or suffering with unsavory neighbors.