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Important Facts to Know When Buying a Home

News | 9th May 2012

Most home buyers already know how important it is to know what the current mortgage rates are doing, or what amenities they want in their next home, but realtors say there are several other areas to know as well before signing on the line for your next home. In a new survey by NAR, buyers expected to stay in their current home almost 15 years if they purchased it in the last 12 months. There is a growing trend in home buyers planning to stay more than a decade in their new homes, which is a contrast to a few years ago when many people sold their homes every 2-3 years because of the increasing equity values. Those days are over, so home buyers are planning on staying put. Here are some other critical areas to investigate about your next home.

Planned Community or Not?

Many people like the lifestyle of living in a planned community because of the many neighborhood amenities they offer. Many PUDs offer multiple swimming pools, parks, community centers, and even golf courses. Many times gated communities offer more features, but at a cost of having more rules for the home owners. A home owner may be restricted on what color they can paint the house, what the landscaping must be and what kind of vehicles they can park in the driveway. Communities that are not PUDs may have no restrictions, but that may also have a down side. Areas with no zoning restrictions or community rules may attract owners that are using their homes for business purposes or storing multiple cars, truck and other vehicles and equipment.

Can You Add a Extra Bedroom?

Many communities have zoning restrictions that do not permit the owner to build on additions to the property such as extra bedrooms, family room or even remodeling the garage. Sometimes the HOA may have a clear list of rules on remodeling and additions, or the rules may be in place from city of county zoning laws. It is important for a home buyer to investigate any restrictions on building or remodeling based on their intended future plans. Most HOAs are very up front about regulations and will give a copy of the written rules.

What Housing Amenities are Important?

It is important to consider what amenities are important to your quality of life. Many communities offer swimming pools, parks, tennis courts and other features, but usually at a cost. Many neighborhood may require a HOA fee in order to be a resident of their community. A neighborhood with certain amenities or close to certain schools may be more desirable for future buyers and see a high appreciation rate. An informed buyer should investigate the location of all the important feature for the new neighborhood including schools, parks, shopping, libraries, sport facilities, community centers and access and ease to mass transportation.

Home buyers are becoming more sophisticated in the requirements for their next home. In addition to knowing the current mortgage rates and lending qualifications, buyers are using the internet to investigate other aspects of their new neighborhood. Since many new home buyers are planning on staying their homes at least a decade, it is important that their home can meet all their future needs.

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