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Preventing Long-Term Headaches Through Home Selection

Choosing the right home boils right down to both convenience and cost. Your ideal home will fall within the budget and not have any problems that can bring additional costs and problems down the line.

First-time homeowners might be overwhelmed by the prospect of buying a new home. Given the many homes for sale in Kansas City and may other major conurbations in the country, the prospect for finding a satisfactory home can be a daunting task.

At its core, a house is an investment. When selecting a home, be wary of anything that could add unnecessary costs or inconveniences down the line. Cost and convenience factors into many of the decisions and can be an excellent motivation to be thorough when inspecting a home.

Don’t Go Overboard

Because your first home is likely going to be bought using a pre-approved loan, you might be tempted to buy the house that fits your maximum budget. This might seem sensible on the surface, but this can be misleading. Unless your income can comfortably cover the costs of the mortgage, your home may prove to be too much to a financial burden. Select a more modest home and choose when to expand.

Up for a Fixer-Upper?

Choosing between a new (or renovated) house and a fixer-upper is one that’s not to be taken lightly. A new house would, ideally, be turnkey. A completely new or newly renovated home is ready for occupancy as is unless you wanted to change anything. All it would need before moving in is for you to do a few last-minute inspections if you’re otherwise happy with the place.

A fixer-upper, meanwhile, might be tempting because it costs less or is in a more favorable environment. You might get a sweet deal from the real estate agent for it, but this may come at a considerable renovation cost to get it to your exact specifications, which may put a strain on your budget unless you don’t mind doing it all slowly.

Even if you do choose to buy a fixer-upper, try to look at the features of the home. Sometimes, attempts to mask smells or large cracks in rocks are a sign that something is amiss with the property.

Topographical Quirks

The lay of the land around the home is another key factor to look at. A new home that lies in a hill would seem rather picturesque, but will erosion be a potential problem? Can a retaining wall remedy it? How much would that cost?

Likewise, a nice bubbling creek might seem like a nice thing to have nearby, but if the annual rainfall is torrential enough, this seemingly appealing feature might become a flood hazard. Given the unpredictable nature of rain, this may become more of a risk. To say nothing of the potential danger of water damage.

Future-proof Your Life

Urban Autumn Autumn on a residential street in the city of Chicago

Location, location, location—the old cliché rings true today as it did when it was first coined. The first major consideration you should make before moving in is to check the location. Ideally, your new home should be located in a nice yet affordable neighborhood with proximity to schools, shopping areas, and whenever possible, your place of work.

In most cases, however, you’re going to have to pick and choose which one is the most important. When selecting a neighborhood to move into, don’t just settle for what you need here and now. Eventually, you may have a different career or a growing family, and what you need and want from a neighborhood will eventually change.