It’s so easy to get excited when you are choosing a new place to live. It might be your first apartment or your first home. Of course, price, size, and floorplan are extremely important influences on your buying decision. But before you buy a home and lock yourself into a mortgage, there are a few other important things you should consider.
How safe is the new area?
One of the first things you should do is determine the safety of the new area. Contact the local police department for crime statistics. Another good idea is to visit the property at different times of day. Go on the weekends, weekdays and at night. Are there bars on the windows of most businesses and residences? This could be an indication that the area is unsafe.
Location, Location, Location.
Have you ever heard the saying when it comes to real estate? Location, Location, Location.
Location is essential not only to the resell value, but to the overall satisfaction you feel in your new home. Because a poor location can make you miserable in your new place.
Check the noise level
How noisy is the area? To find out, take the time to drive around the area and look for railroad tracks, freeways, major thoroughfares, and airports. If the new property is near a major freeway, you may experience a lot of traffic noise during rush hour, not to mention loud road noise at night. Since a train might not pass by while you are viewing the property, a nearby train track could be easily overlooked. But a freight train blowing its horn at 3 am can be pretty annoying. Try to determine the train schedule for that track. And of course, proximity to an airport is going to be noisy.
Look around the area for any type of utility structures
Another thing to look out for are any utility structures near the home. Is there an unsightly cell tower visible to ruin the view in the backyard? Also, power lines running across the backyard are unsightly. Not only that, but you can bet on a big electric easement taking up part of your property. Additionally, look out for high powered electric lines. My first apartment was about four car lengths away from a major row of high-power line towers, which created a lot of internet and television interference.
It’s also a good idea to ask your realtor about proximity to underground pipelines. And If the house is near a sewage processing plant, you might not notice it. But at night, it could create an unpleasant ambiance.
What is the commute time?
The drive from your place of business to the new location may be acceptable on the weekend or during the day. But how long will it take you to get to work during rush hour? Check out your commute time at the hours you would need to access the roads. You may find that rush hour traffic will increase your commute time to an unacceptable level.
Special insurance hazards
Check with your insurance agent prior to signing an agreement to find out about flood zones and other special hazards that could drive up your insurance costs and increase your risks in the future. Coastal properties and homes in forested areas may have extra insurance requirements.
If you have a vacant lot adjacent to your property, find out what who owns it and if it’s zoned. Check with the planning and development department of the city or county you are considering. You may be buying a property next to a piece of commercial property that could eventually be a strip center. Or maybe a school, which would probably increase the traffic and noise level.
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