home buying

Home Buying Tips

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or have purchased a home in the past this list will provide helpful home buying tips when searching for your next home.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and purchase a home without doing the proper research on the home, neighborhood, and community. Here are a few things to consider before and after making an offer.

1. Property taxes and mello-roos – Take a look at the current tax bill to determine the tax rate, including the basic levy, and special assessments. Depending on the neighborhood the special assessments may include mello-roos.

2. Community Home Owners Associations (HOA) – If the community has an HOA find out the dues and how often they are paid. Try and find out the name of the HOA and Management company so you can contact them to find out what is included and if certain restriction apply that might affect how you want to use your new home. For example, some HOA’s do not allow you to store a boat or RV in your driveway. Some people may want to avoid an HOA in single family neighborhoods, but it can often improve the look of the neighborhood and increase home values. For townhome and condo communities it’s important to review the HOA documents and look for any upcoming special assessments, potential increases and overall financial strength of the HOA. You should also look at the exterior of the property and see if they community is being properly maintained.

3. Neighbors – When you are viewing the property take a look over the fence to see how the neighbors are keeping their property. If you notice a lot of clutter or junk it could become an issue down the road. Also, look at how many cars are parked on the street and in the neighborhood. Sometimes it’s best to drive by the property on the weekend or evening to take a look at the parking situation. We can also determine if a neighbor is a renter or homeowner as well as the overall renter vs owner occupied homes in a community.

4. Schools – If you don’t currently have children but plan to in the future you will definitely want to look at the local schools and make sure they meet your standards.

5. Shopping – This may sound silly but I would check out the local grocery store and shopping areas since this is where you will be shopping and spending time.

6. Home inspection – It’s important to use a certified home inspector that can check the systems of the home to verify the condition. While home inspectors cannot see what’s going on inside the walls they can help you determine the overall condition of the property and allow you to ask for repairs, a credit or a reduction in sales price. Additionally, you should always get a home warranty to cover you for unexpected items that may break after you move-in.

Please feel free to CONTACT US for additional tips.