Buyer Beware: 10 Things to Check When Purchasing a New Home
Purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments a person will make in their lifetime. It’s essential to do your due diligence and beware of potential pitfalls before signing on the dotted line. Virginia is a “buyer beware” state, meaning it’s up to the buyer to ensure the structure meets codes and other standards, so taking time to investigate all aspects of the property you’ve fallen in love with is key to protecting yourself and your investment.
Following are ten important things buyers should pay special attention to when purchasing a home.
The old adage “location, location, location” still holds true when buying a home. It’s crucial to research the area’s school district, proximity to amenities, potential future development plans, and crime rate. Visit the area at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood.
A home inspection is crucial when buying a home. The inspection will give you a comprehensive report on the home’s condition, including any potential problems or repairs needed. Remember, inspectors are specialists and can identify many types of issues that are often missed by others!
Homeowners Association (HOA)
If the home is located in a community with an HOA, it’s important to research the HOA’s rules and regulations. These regulations can include anything from paint colors to restrictions on pets. Make sure you are willing to comply with the HOA’s rules before buying the home.
Whether you’re purchasing your first home or buying the most recent of many, financing your investment can be a complicated process. It’s important to shop around for the best mortgage rates and to understand the terms of the loan. Be wary of loans with adjustable rates or balloon payments, as they can become costly over time.
A title search is an essential part of the home buying process. It will ensure that there are no liens or judgments against the property and that the seller has the legal right to sell the home. In Virginia, it is the buyer’s responsibility to perform a title search.
While Virginia is a “buyer beware” state, sellers are still required to disclose any known defects or problems with the home. It’s essential to review any disclosure statements carefully and to ask questions about anything that is unclear.
Environmental concerns such as mold, asbestos, or radon can be very bad for your family’s health and can be costly to remediate. It’s important to have a professional inspect the home for these issues before closing. Even though known environmental hazards are required by Virginia law to be disclosed by the seller, most are invisible and can only be detected by specialists.
Homeowners insurance is essential to help protect your investment. It’s important to shop around for the best coverage and rates. Be aware of any exclusions in the policy, such as flood or earthquake coverage, and consider purchasing additional coverage or riders if needed.
While it’s impossible to predict the future, it’s important to consider the home’s resale value when making a purchase. Factors such as the neighborhood, school district, and proximity to amenities can all impact the home’s resale value.
Closing costs can add up quickly, so it’s helpful to understand what they are and how they are calculated. These costs can include lender fees, title fees, and taxes, among others. It’s important to budget for these early on, and to work with the seller to ensure that there’s transparency in which party will cover which costs.
All homebuyers want to make a purchase that’s sound and that has long-term rewards. In Virginia, it is the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that the home meets codes and guidelines, so it’s important to be aware of possible risks that might harm your investment. By following the tips above and working with a reputable real estate agent, you can ensure a smooth home buying process and protect your investment for years to come.
If you’re feeling unsure about where to begin, then remember I’m here to help you with this exciting journey! Reach out to me if you have any questions.