Buying a home is a big responsibility that involves planning a proper budget, effectively assessing property values, and ensuring that your investment is protected long after making a purchase. Protecting your investment means more than just making sure that your home's new value doesn't decrease over the years.
It's important to factor in safety, convenience, and comfort too, or you might find yourself having to sell when the market isn't in your favor to move to a new place that meets all of your long-term needs. Here are four things you can do to protect your new investment for many years to come:
One of the most important things you can do to protect your home investment long-term is to have a home inspection done by a professional before making any purchase commitments. Your inspector should be able to provide you with a full report of any issues or inconsistencies that need to be addressed with the home. Everything from the foundation, plumbing, and electrical to the roofing, flooring, and framing should be thoroughly inspected so you don't end up facing thousands of dollars in repairs bills after moving into the home.
You may find that the seller is willing to provide you with discounts to make up for any negative feedback that accompanies your inspection, which should pay for any needed repairs. And if you're handy and can do the work yourself, you may be able to pocket the discounts and save money on your overall home purchase.
Go through Records
It's a good idea to ask the seller for all the records they have for previous inspections, maintenance servicing, repairs, and alterations that have been made to the property. Landscaping records, professional cleaning receipts, and pest control records are also helpful tools that will help you create an in depth analysis of the property so that you can confidently gauge how well your investment will hold up over the years. A portfolio of records will give you a good idea of how well the house has been maintained and what, if anything, has been neglected throughout the years.
You'll find that sitting down to make a list of all the features you need now as well as those you foresee needing in the future will help you determine what kind of improvements may need to be made on the property once you're the owner. You can then factor in anticipated costs for those improvements and then consider them when determining the overall cost of your new investment. This will help you to better compare similar homes on the market and figure out which options will truly be the best investments in the long run.
For example if you plan to start your own business in the next five years and there isn't already a spare room you can use as an office in the home you're considering buying, check out the garage and attic to determine whether they'll make suitable office spaces without a lot of remodeling requirements, or whether you'll need to add an entirely new room onto the home in order to meet your needs.
Check out the Neighborhood
Another great way to gauge how well your property investment will hold up over the years is to check out the neighborhood in depth. Take a walk around the block at different times of the day to see how safe the neighborhood feels, whether or not stray dogs are the norm, and how quiet or rowdy the neighbors seem to be.
You'll also have an opportunity to peek at the landscaping and home setup of those living around the home you are considering buying to get an idea of how important maintenance is to the neighborhood.
Offering fresh baked muffins or cookies to neighbors will give you a chance to get to know them and gain some personal insight into the qualities, personality, and safety of the neighborhood.
These tips will give you more insight into a potential home before buying it so you understand it's past and potential future and make your buying decisions accordingly.