Searching for a New House? Try These Tips…

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming experience. Searching online will help, but there are a few ways you can do some homework on your own to be sure you’re getting the best deal.

Find Comparables

In real-estate, a comparable refers to a property in the same area as the property you are interested in. You can use these properties to get an idea of what you should be paying for the property you are looking at and whether it is priced well.

Query a few of the properties in your potential new neighborhood to determine their home values (which are relatively easy to find on the web).  Average those numbers together to get a rough idea of the comparable value of your home.

searching for a new house

Determine What you Can Afford

There are a number of mortgage calculators available across the web. You will need to enter the amount of your mortgage–which is the amount you expect to pay less your down payment–and then determine the interest rate.

Since most of this is guesswork during the research phase, use you and your spouse’s credit scores to estimate the kind of rate you might expect to pay.

These calculations will help you determine your monthly payment and tell you exactly when your home will be paid off. If you can, look at the date your lone amortizes with an extra $100 payment. You might be surprised at how a small sum can shave off years from your loan.

Locate a Fantastic Neighborhood

Maps are crucial in helping you figure out where to buy your next home. If you plan to have children, you should locate nearby schools and see how they rate with parents. Check proximity to airports and train stations as well.

Also look at stores in the area, strip malls especially. These real estate developers often request a natural hazard disclosure report that might reveal that the area is on a fault line, or prone to flash floods. This information is usually free to you and could help you prepare for or prevent long term damage down the road.

Drive by the area if possible, and do it frequently. You might not notice that your new house is in the flight path for the local airport the first time you drive by.

Check the Crime Statistics

Call your local police department and ask for information on crime statistics in that area. They may be able to help point you to resources on their website. If you can’t find help there, try your local newspaper, which might maintain an online map of crimes they have reported on or been notified of.

Lastly, check for registered sex offenders as your state may keep a database related to these crimes. Proofing your neighborhood like this may seem excessive, but you will sleep better knowing your family is out of harm.

Other Concerns

If you are wondering whether or not to get a home inspection, the answer is definitely. A home inspection can reveal hidden trouble spots that just walking through the house might not, like termite damage.

In addition, a home inspector may also provide a comparable value for your home, which you can use in your negotiation. It’s a small fee, but buying a home is a huge investment and should demand careful consideration.

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