Making a final decision and determining which house to make an offer on shouldn’t be taken lightly. The decision should be made rationally and not guided by emotion. You most likely won’t have the luxury of taking your time on deciding which house you’d like to pursue. However, since it is such a major decision you would like to base it on factual information.
Some broad categories to consider are:
Ask your real estate agent to retrieve sales of homes in the neighborhood over the past few years. If one neighborhood shows an annual average 8 percent increase and another is skyrocketing at 15 percent, you may have your decision made.
Go to the local police or sheriff department and ask about crime in your specific neighborhood. You might find theft or vandalism to be more prevalent in one area than another. Also please visit the website, www.familywatchdog.us. When you visit this site you can enter your address and a map will pop up with your house as the small icon of a house and red, blue, green, dots surrounding your entire neighborhood. When you click on these dots a picture of a person will appear with an address and the description of the crime he or she had committed.
Rarely will you be lucky enough to find a perfect place. Think about the cons associated with each house and determine to correct them or how much of a negative impact each will have.
Make a list of the amenities and attributes you want your house to have. Be specific. Prioritize that list. Then, rate how each house measures up to each need on your list.
If you have kids or pets and being close to a park is important, you’ll want to consider that. How close are shopping, restaurants, churches, and other services? Are the streets maintained? How do your prospective neighbors keep up their property? How long will your commute to work be?
Property taxes may vary from one neighborhood to another. This can sometimes affect whether you view a community as a desirable place to live. Higher property taxes often mean newer and more modern schools, well-maintained roads, and bountiful community services.
If you have school-aged children and plan to send them to public school, you definitely want to consider the reputation of the neighborhood school. If you plan on sending your child to a private school, how long is the commute? You will likely spend a lot of time driving your child not only during the school day but for extra-curricular events outside the daily school schedule. Which ever school you decide, you can usually find general district information and state standardized test results online. Always plan a visit to the school and receive the information first-hand from school administrators. You should also talk to teachers and parents.
If you don’t know already, ask your real estate agent how long the house has been on the market. Usually the longer a house has been listed, the better chance the seller will accept an offer lower than asking price. Conversely, if the house has been on the market for just a couple days, the sellers will probably wait for a better offer if you offer less than the listed price. Your real estate agent might also be able to dig up additional information about the sellers, like why they’re selling. If it’s a job-related move or a divorce, the sellers likely want to move as quickly as possible, meaning you have a better shot at them accepting a lower price.
Style and Substance
The SUBSTANCE are things that cannot be changed such as the location, view, size of lot, noise in the area, school district, and floor plan. The STYLE represents easily changed surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and window coverings. Buy the house with good SUBSTANCE, because the STYLE can always be changed to match your tastes.