Buying a house? In this economy?
Apparently, it’s still a thing that happens.
But before you sign those papers, there’s some stuff you should know.
Here, the people of Reddit share their best advice for things to pay attention to before you buy your new house. You’ve probably thought about a couple of these but guaranteed a few have slipped your mind.
The internet is your friend
When searching online, you’ll see some great looking exterior pictures. Check Google Street View to see what the surroundings really look like.
That one extra step saved us from going to look at about half the houses in-person. –how_do_i_change_this
Think about the yard
Everyone talks about the house itself; the yard also matters in terms of how much work and expense the place will be. Is the landscaping competent? Is it kept up?
Lazy gardeners will often attempt a few quick fixes, leaving the buyer with serious work afterward. –doublestitch
Read the fine print
Go through the calculations in the paperwork. My husband found a $2,500 mistake. He had to argue it out before the company would acknowledge we were being double charged in one area. We think the company has been doing this for awhile. Most people accept what the professionals do as correct. –gensleuth
Check the ceilings
If the room below the bathroom has a freshly painted ceiling and it’s the only one in the house, you probably have leaks somewhere. –Dogboy123x
The next one is maybe the most important…
Read the streets
You can do a lot to a house in your time there. Repaint, redecorate, change the furniture, change the floors and wallpaper, add or remove walls, convert the attic or even add an extension.
You cannot change the location of your house, so make sure it’s an area you like. Traffic noise, congestion, whether there’s a lot of pedestrian footfall, and if it’s affected by the environment (vulnerable to flooding etc.) should all be checked out. –DarkNinjaPenguin
A whole list of stuff
when was the roof last replaced, how old is the oil tank/furnace, is there vinyl windows, is the knob and tube wiring replaced, where are your property lines, was there flood/fire/mold/bug/mice problems, how good are your neighbors, is there lead paint. these are just a few…also please buy something you can easily afford because of life –Instantglue
Look to the future
Walk through the neighborhood a couple of times at different times during the week. Look at the facilities like shops in the neighborhood.
Also look at the local government’s future plans for the neighborhood. That view from your house might get spoiled in 2 years and the value of your house could seriously drop.
In real estate location is everything. –Petrus_was_taken
Check the flood maps
As someone living in an area that was affected by Sandy back in 2012 and purchased a house since then… please look up flood maps from FEMA before you even consider putting in an offer for a house. Sure, it might sound dumb if you think the general area can’t be flooded, but just check to make sure… because insurance for that can be a pain.
Thanks to that and a fellow helpful redditor, I actually didn’t put in an offer for a house that would have been in a flood zone and probably cost an arm and a leg to insure. –hopsandhorns
Check the sunlight sitch
How the sun rises and dips throughout the day. It helps with light and heat in a house if it shines in the windows however if it doesn’t your house feels cold and dark all the time. –Oddballbob
The next one is about the actual negotiating process…
Don’t sweat the small stuff
After you put in your offer there’s often some minor back and forth negotiating. For example, you offer $10,000 below their asking price and they counter with “OK, but we want to take the chandelier.”
It’s easy to get wrapped up in these negotiations and lose sight of the big picture. You probably didn’t care about the chandelier, but as soon as they made it an issue you feel obliged to fight for it. “If you want the chandelier, then you have to throw in the patio furniture.”
“No, we’re keeping the patio furniture!”
“Screw you, the deals off!”
Don’t let yourself get taken advantage of, but don’t walk away from a good deal because of a minor disagreement. –free_as_in_speech
Painting is possible
For the love of god, if you don’t like the color of the paint and that somehow makes the house less attractive, YOU CAN PAINT OVER IT YOUR GOD DAMN SELF. –corvettee01
Buy what you can afford
My first house was more than I could afford, I had a constant feeling of drowning or a huge weight pressing down on my chest, my second house takes much less of my income to pay for and it feels really good. I can travel and do cool stuff with my family now.
Also, you are buying a neighborhood. Make sure you like the neighbors.
Live below your means
Unless you are 100% sure you will retire in it, look at its long-term value over size. Deliberately live BENEATH your means and use the money saved to either improve the home or set it away for retirement.
I have seen a lot of friends buy homes they barely could afford and have to try and sell it 3-4 years later when they move to keep pace with their career. –GreenSalsa96
Don’t forget everything’s on you
That unlike in a rental environment, everything is on you.
Water heater ruptures? You gotta pay someone to do it or do it yourself. Not the property manager. Leak happens? Again, that’s on you.
I know people who plot out to buy homes but just don’t sit down and realize that there is no longer anyone to bitch at when something breaks; YOU have to deal with it/pay for it.
As such you definitely need to keep money in the bank for shit like this. If you can’t buy a home while having money socked away…probably best to reconsider your plans. –Kolbentine
The next one is something I’ve never thought about…
Look to the trees
If you have a lot of trees, have them checked out by an arborist, especially in the winter or spring if they haven’t bloomed yet. When we bought our first house we had a lot of dead and very expensive trees to remove.
It’s not fun being “house poor”
It’s not fun being “house poor”. That’s where you can’t afford to do anything (travel, entertainment, travel, etc…) because of your payments. Just because your budget is 250k doesn’t mean you should get a house for 249k. You don’t need to spend the max. Get a 150 or 175k. Also, homes need repairs. Always something happening. –ITeachAll
Don’t live at the top of the T
Corner lots suck. No backyard privacy.
When streets come to a ‘T’, don’t buy the house at the end of the T. Every 20 seconds you’ll have headlights in your living room. All night. For life. That house is always for sale, and always cheap. Now you know why.
Test the water pressure
Water pressure, takes nothing to turn a tap on and check have had inspectors miss this and had to replace the well pump. –Jayiscanadian
Check out your neighborhood on nextdoor.com. I bought a house in a seemingly quiet, normal neighborhood. Moved in and signed up for nextdoor only to learn that my neighbors are in a full-blown civil war. I have never seen neighbors be so nasty to each other! –hacked_once_again
Share this with someone who’s searching for a house!