Here are seven bits of home buying advice to keep in mind, even if you’re not actively looking for a home yet:
1. Scout out the area of the new home at different times of the day and night, weekdays and weekends. Get a good feel for the dynamics of the neighborhood.
2. Consider the school district the home is in, even if you don’t have kids. The better the school district, the higher the resale price could be.
3. Make sure your monthly mortgage and associated fees are no more than 28% of your monthly income. A higher percentage could place a strain on your budget.
4. Opt to buy one of the smaller, less expensive houses in the neighborhood rather than the largest or most expensive. These houses will appreciate at a higher rate and will be easier to sell.
5. Find out what the property taxes will be on the house. This varies widely from state to state, and county to county.
6. Hire a home inspector to detect any problems with the house which might cause financial strain in the future. Any problems could become negotiating points in making an offer on the house.
7. Prepare for buying a home by having money set aside for a down payment and other fees. The higher your down payment, the less interest you will pay.
8. Team up with a reliable real estate agent and mortgage banker to help you with this most important financial decision.