We found this article from Realtor.com to be a nice overview of some of the main things buyers often times overlook.
6 Top Things Home Buyers Forget to Do: Did You Miss Them Too?
Donb t let this happen to you!
Review some of the top things buyers forget to do when shopping for a home.
Oversight No. 1: Considering the homeb s resale value
Sure, youb reB buying a home. And yet, you must think like a seller.
b Few buyers stay in their homes for 30 years like our parents did,b says real estate expertB Brendon DeSimone, author of b Next Generation Real Estate.b b Today, people are more mobile and things change quickly, like job transfers. Life happens.b And thatb s why home buyers should consider how easy a home will be to sell later onb and stick to properties with broad appeal rather thanB quirks that appeal only to a rare few, like a kitchen in the basement orB brightly colored bathroom tiles.
b Talk to your agent about trends in your neighborhood and whether they think your home would sell for the same amount two years, five years, or 10 years down the road,b advises RealtorB. Avery Boyce of Washington, DCb s Compass Real Estate. b Buying a home should make financial sense now, but if circumstances make this home no longer the right one within a few years, you donb t want to be in a tricky financial situation while trying to sell.b
Oversight No. 2: Factoring in the expenses youb ll face after you buy
b People focus so much on mortgage payments and closing costs,b says DeSimone. b What they donb t realize, until after the fact, is that there are expenses like oil or propane and landscaping that are built into homeownership.b
To make sure the bottom line will be within your means, ask the seller for a property expense list to get an idea of what you will actually be paying out each month. Then, consider the reserve that youb ll need for typical maintenance. Rule of thumb: Plan on setting aside 1% of the homeb s total value annually for upkeep and repairs.
Oversight No. 3: Rooting outB any restrictions
All too often buyers learn the hard way that their property comes with restrictions. Say, they canb t park wherever they want, or B they discover their house isB within a historic district that prohibitsB renovations or additions to a home.
b Buyers will need to check with the city, review the preliminary title report and seller disclosures,b says Beverly Hills, CA, Realtor Steven Aaron. For good reason:B Once you become the owner, any restorations fall on you. Zoning, title issues, or covenants go with the property,B not the seller.
Oversight No. 4: Checking that past work was up to code
The seller is responsible for disclosing any renovations, nonpermitted work, and items not up to code. But just as things arenb t always done to the letter, sellers arenb t always totally honest about whatb s been changedb or how. Thatb s why buyers need to check any and all past permits to make sure that the work was done and signed off on by the local municipality, says DeSimone.
b If you see a newer bathroom or bonus room or kitchen, and there is no permit on record, thatb s a huge red flag because once you own it, and you go to do any work or apply for a permit and they see work was done without a permit, you will be responsible for it.b
Why is that such a big deal? Consider this: b If it was done improperly, or not to code, you may have to tear it out and start over again.b
Oversight No. 5: Getting the scoop on the HOA
b Never close on a home without doing serious due diligence on the homeowners association,b says DeSimone. While HOAs are ideally supportive and make living in a community convenient, some have been known to have a darker side complete with corruption and drama. Just ask Greensboro, NC, parents JessicaB andB Karl Ronnevik, whose HOA recently threatened them with a fine if they didnb t quiet their 1-year-old babyb s crying.
b And if there is an upcoming assessment, or there are delinquent homeowners,b says DeSimone, b the HOA, and you, will have to cough up the money to cover it!b
Oversight No. 6: Doing your homework on the neighborhood
Crime rates, school rankings, and traffic patterns, oh my! The home itself is just one aspect of what makes a property a good buy. Buyers often forget that b the neighborhood should be inspected as much as the property,b says DeSimone, who insists that shoppers should walk their block at different times of the day and talk to neighborsB to get a better feel. After all, the house may be gorgeous, but if youb re unhappy with your neighbors or the overall environment outside your door,B it probably isnb t the right place for you.
Original article:B http://www.realtor.com/advice/things-home-buyers-forget-to-do/