9 Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Consider When Buying a Home

There are nine considerations you shouldn’t overlook when buying your home. Being mindful of them will prevent you from possibly making a big mistake.

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When purchasing a home, there are nine things you need to consider that the vast majority of other homebuyers don’t:

1. The neighborhood at night. Neighborhood’s change at night—it’s a fact. At least, most of them do. Drive through your prospective home’s neighborhood at night and around the home itself to see if there are any college students or dogs barking nonstop or things of that nature.

2. The daily commute. Even though Google Maps may say it takes a certain amount of time to go from point A to point B, drive that route yourself during the busiest time of day to make sure you’re not stuck in a commute that’s longer than what you bargained for.

3. The CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions). Just because a neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA doesn’t mean they don’t have CC&Rs. I’d argue that if you have an HOA and valid CC&Rs, that’s the best of both worlds because there’s a standard of living for the people who live there and they’re not governed by an HOA.

4. Whether the home can be rented out or not. Some HOA neighborhoods don’t allow certain properties to be leased out, especially on a short-term rental basis.
These nine considerations will ensure you buy the right home for you.
5. The bedroom-to-bathroom ratio. If you buy a single-story home, always buy a property with at least two or 1.75 bathrooms. Buyers in the future will want that. If it’s a two-story home, I recommend that you have a powder room or a half-bathroom on the main level. That’s another thing future buyers will look for.

6. The need for specialty inspections. Home inspections are a must. However, if they red-flag something or tell you that you should look at something a little bit closer with a qualified inspector, we highly recommend you do that.

7. Features that cannot be changed. The two most important features that cannot be changed are location and lot. It’s very important to base the foundation of what you’re looking to buy off of these two factors.

8. The resale value. If your home backs up to a busy street, just because that doesn’t bother you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider whether it will bother a large part of the buyer pool when you sell the home in the future. Know what kind of adjustments or discounts you need to make when it comes to factors like that so you buy the home correctly and at market value.

9. Whether there is room to grow. When it comes to this, you want to know your lot setbacks, the zoning of your lot, and if you have load-bearing walls. If you want to knock down a wall to open a room up, you’ll want to check with a specialty engineer if that wall is load-bearing. If so, it can still be done, but it might cost a little more.

Our team does our best to check all nine of these boxes when helping our buyers buy homes. If you have any other questions about buying a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.

Should You Rent or Buy a Home?

Should you rent a home or buy one? I have four questions that will help you make this important decision.

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Should you rent a home or buy a home? There are four things you should consider when deciding what to do:

1. Can you afford it? In many cases, it’s actually more expensive to rent in Phoenix than to own a home if you look at the monthly payments. You might say, “I know that but I don’t have anything saved for a down payment.” If you are looking in certain price points, you may qualify for a down payment assistance program that will gift you 5% of the purchase price up to a certain amount. It’s a great program but we don’t know how much longer it will be there, so call me if you’re interested.

2. Is it better to rent or buy? It really depends on your personal circumstances. Are you self-employed or a W-2 employee? How much can you write off on your taxes due to owning real estate? Your rental payment may be close to a mortgage payment, but that tax return can make a big difference. Check in with your CPA and see if it may be more affordable for you to own a home.
How long are you willing to stay put?
Other things like home warranties hedge your risk on things breaking in your home when you own the property.

3. How long are you willing to stay put? What’s your exit strategy? Again, most homeowners stay in their home for about five to seven years, depending on the market cycle and whether or not they have equity in the home. If a market correction occurs and the market goes down, people may stay in their homes a little longer.

4. Are you ready to be a homeowner? You will be responsible for the property. If something breaks, you need a home warranty or money set aside for improvements and repairs. Your HVAC system and your roof both have a lifespan. Will you need to replace them?

You can get a home warranty for about $70 that will cover the vast majority of big issues. Homeowners insurance will also cover repairs and costs anywhere from $400 to $800 a year.

Hopefully, these four questions help you determine whether you should own or rent a home. If you have any other questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!