5 tips for choosing a new home

Buying a new home is a major financial investment, so you want to make sure you pick the right one. When you’re a first-time homebuyer, the process of looking at new homes can feel overwhelming. However, by keeping the following tips in mind, you can feel comfortable knowing you found the best new home.

1. Scout Out the Neighborhood

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Narrowing down your ideal neighborhood is key to finding your perfect home. When you’re thinking about where to live, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. If you have children or are planning to have them within a few years, you want to research the schools and find a neighborhood close to parks and recreation. You also want to decide what kind of commute you’re willing to deal with, and whether you want to drive, walk, or take mass transit.

2. Check the Floors and Ceiling

While a lot of homebuyers focus on wall color, you should focus more on the floors and ceilings. If the house is fully carpeted but you have bad allergies, you might need to spend around $4,400 to have hardwood floors installed. Additionally, looking up at the ceiling can give you a clue on whether there’s water damage from because of leaks. While this may not be anything major, it’s still something to keep in mind.

3. Think Long-Term

Most Americans move once every five years, but you should consider how the house you’re looking at will suit you 10, 15, or even 20 years down the road. If your children are small now, you might want a playroom in your new house, but you also want to consider what type of space they’ll need when they’re teenagers. Additionally, while a multi-level home doesn’t bother you when you’re young, think about how those stairs will impact you when you’re older.

4. Examine the HVAC System

Since your HVAC unit keeps you comfortable throughout the year, it’s one of the most important systems in your house. Yet it’s often overlooked during house tours. Look at the unit itself and see if there’s rust, cracks, or any other damage. You should also make sure that the unit is the right size for the home. If the unit is between 10 and 15 years old, it might be time for a replacement and you’ll have to add those costs into your budget. You can always have a qualified HVAC technician come out and look at the unit so you’re not surprised by any unforeseen costs related to it.

5. Know When to Compromise

Chances are you’re not going to find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, and you’ll have to compromise on certain priorities. While you don’t want to go significantly over budget, if you’re financing with a 30-year fixed-rate loan, realize that going $10,000 above your price range will only add around $30 to your monthly payment.

To make the home-buying process a little less stressful, keep these tips for choosing a new home in mind and you can find a home that will suit you for years to come.

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