When you're planning on buying a housein the near future, you're subject to lots of advice. Suddenly, everyone seems to have an opinion on which features your new home needs to have. We thought we would take this debate to the experts to settle it once and for all. In that light, we asked real estate agents what buyers should look for in a home. Here's what they had to say:
Location, location, location:
"The old adage 'location, location, location' is as true today as it ever was. Buyers should consider the quality of the schools, their commute to work, the neighbors, and any noise when thinking about purchasing a house. I always stress to my clients: Pay attention to the things that you can’t change about a house and to make sure you can live with those items. Kitchen and bathrooms can be remodeled, but you can't make the noise from a busy freeway go away."
"Look at the age and condition of the home, especially for those big-ticket items. How does the roof look? What about the HVAC? Are there signs of water or structural damage? No matter if you want a turn-key home or a fixer-upper, these are things that should be in good condition before you buy. If not, you could end up spending much more than you intend on fixes and replacements."
Make sure it meets your current (and future) needs:
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"Buyers should always make sure a home meets both their current and future needs. Shop for homes based on a list of must-haves that suit your current lifestyle, plus any changes that may occur down the road. For instance, are you planning on starting a family (or growing your current one)? If so, be sure the homes you are looking at have room for growth. However, no matter what's on your list of must-have's, don't settle for a home unless you're sure it will meet your needs."
"Don’t overbuy for your budget. Make sure you know how much you're comfortable paying in a mortgage amount and stick to that limit, even if you've been approved for more. You don't want to be in a position where you feel 'house poor', or worse, are unable to make your payments."
"Though it may be a not-so-sexy feature of your home, resale value one of the most important. It can be a huge determining factor the quality of your investment and how long it will take you to sell once you decide to move. Look for features in your home that most buyers would consider desirable like bedroom size, kitchen size, outdoor space, or parking."