Buying a home can be an emotional experience. Sometimes people get caught up in the emotions and get sold on a few features like a remodeled kitchen or a big back yard. However, it’s easy to overlook important warning signs that a house might not be the right fit for you. Here are several warning signs to look out for before you buy.
They Promise to Make Fixes
Often a home that otherwise seems perfect needs a little work. Maybe there’s a few cracks in the drywall, broken fixtures or light switches that need to be rewired. The home inspection might also turn up larger problems: a hot water tank past its prime, a bit of structural damage or a roof that needs to be replaced. To entice buyers, many sellers will swear up and down that they will make the necessary fixes before the sale goes through. But the fact that they didn’t take care of smaller repairs before putting the home on the market, or possibly tried to hide larger problems, might be an indication that the house is not right for you. Even if they add a clause to the terms of sale that they will make all needed repairs before the sale goes through, think twice. They are moving out so they have no motivation to make sure the repairs are done right and built to last. If you still want to go forward with the house, you might be better off asking for a significant price reduction and completing the repairs yourself.
They Are Restrictive About When They Show It
Before you close on a house, you’re going to want to see it a few times, preferably during different times of day. A home might seem picturesque during certain hours of day, but less so at other times. If a real estate agent refuses to set up viewings during certain times of days, it should set off alarm bells. It could be that they will only show the place at night because they know it gets little light during the day. Or perhaps they only want to show it in afternoon because they know the neighbors like to get loud and rowdy after work. When buying a home, make sure they show it on your terms, not theirs.
Buying a Home That Exceeds Your Budget
Setting a budget is the first step in looking for a home. But all too often buyers will allow that budgeted amount creep up and up as they fall in love with nicer and nicer homes. Or perhaps they’ve looked at the trajectory of local home prices and think their prospective home is certain to increase in value, affording them a little more leeway when it comes to home prices. This sort of mentality is exactly what drove the boom and bust in the housing market over the last half-decade, causing many people to end up in homes they couldn’t afford. To avoid paying more than you can afford set a budget early on and stick to it no matter what.
You Think You Can Handle the Commute
Often buyers will find a house that they love, but it’s a little further from work than they’d like. Rather they think twice about whether it will be a good, fit, they convince themselves that the commute won’t really be so bad. Unfortunately, a grinding daily commute can make a perfect home feel like a prison sentence. Spending a few hours every day getting to and from work means spending less time with friends and family, and it could also mean more money spent on gas and childcare — something that many forget to factor in to the monthly cost of their new home. Before you buy, make sure to test out the route to and from work several times to see if you can really handle the commute.