Where to buy your house? There are some obvious consideration, such as distance from your job, family and friends. But in order to start your home search, generally you will need to narrow down your choices of locations.
Judge Richard Speers, who was a bankruptcy judge in Toledo for decades, told me when I was a young lawyer that you should always buy a house east of where you work. I was thinking he must have some insight regarding increasing equity, so I asked why. His answer was simple, because if you live west of your job the sun is in your eyes both on the way to work and on the way home.
Here are some other important things to consider:
- Neighborhood. – What are the trends in the neighborhood you are considering? Are properties increasing or deceasing in value? What is the historical performance of the prices in the neighborhood? What is the age make up of the neighborhood? What is the age of the average home in the neighborhood? What are the taxes for the community you are considering. – Taxes are generally paid as part of your mortgage, and as such will increase your monthly payment on your home.
- Family status – if you have children, or are planning to have children that are school age, school systems are an important consideration. Are your children going to attend a public school in your community or a private school? If your going to attend a public school you will want to know the rating of the school system you are considering. The Ohio Department of Education issues a report card for performance of public schools each year. That information is available at http://education.ohio.gov/lists_and_rankings
- Cost – Similar homes in different communities can have vastly different selling prices. Each community is unique.
After you determine the community or communities you want to live in, you want to determine the ideal size home for your current and future living needs.
Each buyers individual needs vary by number of people in the household, age of those household members and other unique needs of particular family member. For some going up stairs is a problem, where for others different floors are important to piece of mind. Here are the general guidelines for type of property.
- number of bedrooms needed now, and in the future.
- number of bathrooms – hint no has even said: “I like this house, but there are too many bathrooms.”
- Floor plan – ranch v. stairs
- Square footage
- basement or not (finished or not)
Armed with your location and list of requirements for your home, you are finally ready to start actually looking for an individual home.