The housing market is continuing to pick up speed after economic fiasco in the early 2000s. But as a recent Fiscal Times article notes, many new homeowners are overlooking small — but important — details when they’re shopping around for a new house. Here are just a few of the most important things that first-time buyers should keep in mind when looking for a new house:
Renting a house may be a better choice than buying a house. Many renters find that it’s easier to budget and save money when they know exactly how much their rent and utilities will cost each month. Having a good landlord who takes care of maintenance issues is also an added benefit to renting.
Online websites dedicated to helping new homeowners research neighborhoods and house values are not always accurate. Like pretty much anything else on the internet, this information should always be taken with a grain of salt. An actual real estate agent is more likely to know housing trends in certain neighborhoods, and looking at photos online simply doesn’t provide a complete picture.
Home inspections should be taken seriously and never overlooked. Ideally, anyone selling a house would provide potential buyers with as much information as possible, but this is often not the case. All too often, anyone looking to sell a house will happen to “forget” to mention that a toilet is broken, or that the basement flooded a couple years earlier. If a buyer is really interested in a house, it’s important to have professional inspections completed and to have any damage fixed as soon as possible. Some things, like a running toilet, are more frustrating than they are dangerous. But other problems, like possible mold growth caused by water damage, can actually be a very serious (and silent) health risk for residents.
“Its very important that any concerns home inspectors point out are looked at by structural engineers. Without having a new home thoroughly assessed by an engineer, buyers can be stuck with potentially large repair bills,” says Ken Fraine, President of Drainage & Eroson. “Buyer beware is very important when buying a home – a new home is a very important asset and you want to be sure to protect it. Structural engineers can spot potential issues before they cause problems that may cost you significantly more to repair down the road.”
So why is it so important to educate new home buyers anyway? Well, even though the housing market seems to be on the mend, it still has a long way to go before it becomes a strong part of the American economy again. According to a New Jersey publication, this will only happen if young buyers, looking for their first home, are able to contribute. If young people are not encouraged to participate in the real estate market, the American housing market may begin to stagnate. How should industry experts encourage young people to participate? Simple: by giving them enough information to feel comfortable making such a huge investment.