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Deciding Where To Buy My 1st House

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Couples saving for a down payment on their home, whether it is the first or one of several homes purchased, should understand all of the factors that make up a decision of where to purchase a home. The neighborhood you buy your home in is one of the most important factors (next to price, payments, interest rates, condition, etc.) in considering whether to make an offer on a particular house. When choosing the neighborhood or locale of your first house, consider several very important factors that can tend to be overlooked in all of the excitement, especially if the house will be a first home.

Schools

The schools in the area are important. They will dictate where your child goes to school at each appropriate level, so be careful about choosing a home. Learn about the schools in the area thoroughly, and visit them whenever possible. If you have a child that will need to go to a particular school, allow the child the chance to visit the school as well. Familiarizing yourself with what to expect in the local school district can save some hassles later down the road. Look for news stories associated with the faculty and school. Make sure the curriculum is something you want your children to learn, and that the teachers are teaching the vital things in the correct manner. Assess the extra-curricular activities programs (where available) and make sure that the things your child is interested in are included, and, if not, if a backup plan is available (such as other interests or local activities clubs that offer the first or second choice).

Neighborhood Crime Rate

The age of the area can help dictate whether the area is appropriate for your family. Older areas tend to be more valuable if they are well kept. The older and more well kept the area, the higher the chance that the neighborhood will have a lower crime rate and higher home value as well. New areas can have very low crime rates, but you will need to check on the age of the surrounding area to help ascertain a general idea of what the area could become in just a few years. While Shadybrook Community looks great right now, in ten years or so it could become just like neighboring Gloomy Community. Consider this when purchasing a home in a new subdivision or neighborhood.

Jobs

The local job market can be extremely crucial if you are not transferring jobs and will be looking for a new job in the area. Regardless of the area you are searching for your new home, research carefully to determine whether a position found in the area would provide enough income to cover the household expenses. If you do not already have a job lined up or a transfer position available, this can mean the difference between keeping the new home and having to sell immediately or running the risk of the deal falling through. In addition, if you have older teenage children, determine whether they will be able to find suitable employment when the time comes. Also, if you plan on making some extra money with a second job, you will want to make sure the area has sufficient options for second jobs.

If you already have a job lined up, are planning to stay at your current job, or are transferring nearby, take your daily commute into consideration. With the ever-increasing costs of fuel (you may want to check out our tips to save money on gas) and car repairs, make sure your budget can handle the expense. Long commutes mean less time with family, higher costs in gas and wear and tear on the vehicle, greater potential for traffic to be a factor, and more. You will need to add extra travel time both to and from work, and it may affect your availability. It could also mean longer trips for those who are on-call or are called in on days off to work frequently.

Activities

When researching the local area, check the activities nearby. Those with children should especially be considerate of what is available "to do" in the neighborhood and surrounding locale. Activities such as sports, dance, martial arts, swimming (if the home does not have a swimming pool), and more are important to adolescents, and vital to their social structuring. Couples should also take the time to see if there are things they can do as well. Grown-up groups and events are important for the social lives of adults, and they need chances to meet friends and acquaintances just as much as children do.

The price of the home is one of the biggest determining factors in deciding whether to purchase the house. The neighborhood that the home is in will have a great deal to do with the price asked for the home, and you should make certain that the price is a reasonable one in comparison with the neighborhood overall. If there has not been one done yet, have a professional appraisal done on the house to determine what type of offer you should expect to make on the house. If the sellers or realty is asking a price that seems too high for the house or the area, the appraisal will determine the amount you should offer. If the price is too low, consider the house a bargain, but be sure there is no underlying damage to the house by hiring a professional home inspector before placing a bid or making an offer. You will want to consult a home buyers real estate agent for assistance on these items.

Weather

Finally, check the weather of the area. Make sure it is not prone to natural disasters that could cause the house to be destroyed. This will also help the new homeowner decide what type of homeowner's insurance is best for them. For example, knowing that the home is in a flood zone could keep a reputable insurance company from allowing the homeowner to add flood insurance to their policy. Couples will want to know what to expect as well. Being prepared for certain weather situations could mean the difference between life and death in some cases. In other cases, knowing what to expect can help to reduce the chance of being caught off guard and not knowing what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.

Consider The Options While Saving Your Mortgage Down Payment

Remember, buying your first house is a fun, exciting, life changing event. Make sure to go through this checklist in relation to the various neighborhoods you are considering. You may even wish to write down the pros and cons on paper. Doing this exercise while saving your down payment will pay large rewards when you make the move and purchase your first home. Looking for more information about the home buying process? You may wish to check out Michael Bluejay's Home Buying Tips.

This article is written by guest author Doreen Martel exclusively for Save For House.

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