Things To Consider When Buying a House


When it comes to the location of your desired house, there are a number or things to consider:

  • Distance to work

    • This will determine how much your commuting expenses will be.

  • Distance to a school if you have (or will have) kids

    • Some schools are not open enrollment.

  • The neighborhood the house is in

    • Research the demographics of the neighborhood to see if it is somewhere that is suitable for you.

  • Value of the houses around you

    • This could determine how much you pay in property taxes.


Think Long Term

When purchasing a home it is important to think ahead. Buying a house is a large investment and there a few things to think about before you do invest:

  • How long will you be living in the house?

    • It is recommended that you live there for at least 5 years to help insure you do not lose money on the purchase.

  • Will you be able to resell the house?

    • You want to be sure you will be able to sell your house for what you paid for it or more

  • Will your family grow or shrink?

    • Be sure you buy enough house if you are expecting to grow your family.

    • Be sure not to buy too much house if you are looking to downsize.


Make a Check List

In order to save yourself and your realtor’s time, be sure to come into the house hunting process with a check list. This should include things that are must have items, nice-to-have items and other essentials such as a nice view, lake access, open land and so on.


Use logic not emotions when buying a house

When looking at houses it is important to stay focused on your check list. It is easy to get emotionally attached to a house that may not be best suited for you. When looking at a house try to focus on your must haves, nice-to-haves and other essentials that you have developed and see if the house you are looking at is congruent with those items.


Be prepared to walk away, if things don’t work out

Once you find a prospective house and are ready to make an offer, make sure you go into it with the mindset that things may not work out and you may have to walk away. If you found a house that fits all your needs, put an offer on the house and pursue it, but ultimately you want to get the best value for your money. When it comes to putting an offer on a house, most things can be negotiated. You may not get everything you negotiate, but make sure you communicate with your realtor with any possible negotiations.


Yards and gardens are work

A house with a big yard and a garden are beautiful, but keep in mind that they will need maintenance. With anything you maintain, it will take time and money. A big yard may need a riding mower of some kind. Make sure you have the budget to obtain a machine like this if you do not already have one or budget money to hire someone to do it for you.


Look past staging of the furniture for the house

Staging of a house can be deceptive. There are cases were the furniture is not in a position that would be functional. For example, a night stand with a lamp on it is placed by a bed, but there isn't an outlet near the night stand for the lamp. The night stand and lamp are staged in a logical way, but in this instance it is not functional because there is nowhere to plug in the lamp.

When you are looking at houses be sure to overlook the staging and imagine where you would put things in the house and make sure that your personalized set up would be functional.


Investigate property taxes in the area

Property taxes vary depending on the location of the house, the amount of land the house is on and the quality of the neighboring homes. This can greatly increase your monthly expenses on your new home. Make sure you ask for the property tax history to determine whether it is something that will fit in your budget.


Look at lot lines using local GIS mapping

When looking at a house, it is important to assess the size and shape of the lot the house is sitting on. Realtors will typically show you the property lines when looking at a house. This will give you an idea of how much land you will need to maintain and pay taxes on. You can often look at property lines from an aerial view using GIS mapping. This is the GIS mapping for the Pope County area. This is the GIS mapping  for Douglas County area.