Finding your dream home is more than just getting approved for a mortgage loan. There are many considerations in purchasing a home that often get overlooked in the excitement. According to the Zillow Group, the typical homeowner stays in their home for 14 years before selling. Make sure you think long term and weigh all considerations when purchasing a home.
When you find the perfect home, make sure you check out the neighborhood first. Join neighborhood Facebook groups or apps if you are able to prior to moving, to get more inside information.
Some questions to ask or consider:
- Is there frequent theft or other crime in the neighborhood?
- Is there planned construction that may increase or decrease property values, obstruct views, or just be a nuisance?
- What are the ages of neighbors? Are there youth for your children to play with or adults your age to meet?
- Is there a park nearby that may be noisy, or perfect for your dog?
Homeowner Associations or HOAs are legal entities intended to manage communities such as neighborhoods and condo or townhome communities. They typically maintain the “common areas” such as landscaping, parks, pools, and streets.
When purchasing a new home, condo or townhome, you may want to check to see if there is an HOA.
Some questions to ask or consider when looking into an HOA:
- What are the rules required by the HOA?
- Most HOAs have rules around home maintenance and landscaping, trash and recycling, and parking, however some have more restrictive rules such as bans on pets.
- What are the required dues of the HOA?
- Many HOAs have monthly fees typically between $150-$300, however some can even rise to thousands of dollars a month.
- Does the HOA have adequate reservices for maintenance and repairs?
- Many HOAs are unfortunately critically underfunded, which can lead to major cost to the homeowners for repairs or maintenance projects.
Even if you don’t currently have kids, buying a house is typically a long-term commitment. If you have children or they may be in your future, do some research on the best districts and schools in the area and what school district zones you would like to fall into.
Just because your new home has a perfect mountain view today, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Try to do research around the possible future of the home.
Some questions to consider:
- If there is a plot of land near your home, try looking up the zoning map to see if they will be building on it. Especially if it would obstruct a view.
- What is population trend of the area? Is it growing which may lead to higher property taxes, more traffic, and increased construction? Or is it shrinking which may result in less job opportunities, lower property values, and businesses leaving the area?
- What are the natural disaster concerns? If you are near a body of water, are there concerns for flooding or erosion? Is this an earthquake or tornado zone?
Home renovations are harder than you think and may not be possible depending on the situation. Just because you want to add on to a house or build a detached garage doesn’t mean that you can. Do your research on the restrictions due to city laws, gas lines, septic tanks or leech fields, etc.
Now that you are well equipped with some questions to ask about your new home, talk to our lending experts about your mortgage loan! Alaska Air Group Credit Union offers home loans in all 50 states.Get started!