Sometimes it’s the things that we tend to look past during the home-buying process that matter the most later on. Sure, things like size, location, and price of a home are probably the items that top the list for many potential buyers, but they may not make or break a homeownership experience. Instead, it’s often those things that come along later, once you own a home, that can catch you buy surprise and make you realize that you may not have fully considered all the factors involved in owning a home. This is why taking a more forward looking approach to buying a home may help reduce those nasty surprises.
The season in which you buy a home could greatly affect your predetermined notions about that home. Snow can cover up a poor looking yard, a defective rooftop or not have you thinking about just how much yard work might accompany a certain type or size of lawn. Meanwhile during the summer, you might not be thinking about all the leaves that could come off those trees to land in your gutters during the fall season or just how much work clearing that 100 yard driveway of snow might be.
Therefore, when you buy, it can be critical to try to imagine what your home and its surroundings will look like during other seasons and what potential problems you might encounter during those times.
Future family members
Sometimes it’s hard to think about the future when it comes to children being born or aging parents moving in with you. However, doing so could put a different spin upon home ownership or the type of home you buy.
A small condo or a home with no yard might be fine for you or you and a spouse, but it could be problematic with a child or children. That third floor, walk-up condo might not bother you since you’re healthy and in your 30s, but it could be difficult and dangerous for an aging parent or a small child to navigate.
Being forward thinking in these areas can save time, money, trouble, frustration, and even potential injuries down the road.
Schools, neighbors, and neighborhood
While neighbors and neighborhoods can seem like more stable aspects of a home-buying decision, such things can change, and change in a hurry. Good neighbors could leave, bad neighbors could move in, foreclosures and short sales could start popping up, dropping the value of neighborhood homes. Property tax rates can increase, school quality can go down, and any number of other items that seem like relatively stable aspects of your home-buying decision could change quickly.
So when you’re buying a home with an empty house next door, it might be worth considering who will eventually be moving in. And just because the elementary school is okay, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the middle and high school are good. And that huge library, new community pool, and while all those infrastructure projects going on might provide some nice area amenities, someone has to pay for those upgrades, which could mean big property tax hikes looming in the future.
So before jumping to buy a home, it could be pertinent to your future home ownership experience to be a little forward thinking in your planning.
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The author is not a licensed financial or real estate professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.