Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

There’s an episode of the TV series “How I Met Your Mother” where the characters decide to buy a home only to learn later that it sits downwind from a sewer plant. The message is obvious: A buyer must do his or her due diligence on prospective neighborhoods to avoid those kinds of mistakes.

Here are a few tips:homebuyer tips

Investigate the surrounding area: Good schools boost your property value. Research the closest parks and community centers and consider how busy streets impact the neighborhood. Check out stores and restaurants in the area. You may be used to a 5-minute drive to the grocery store, only to find out that your new home is 25 minutes away from the nearest place to buy milk.

Get to know prospective neighbors: Walk through the area and say hello to people. Ask them for their impressions of the neighborhood. While you’re at it, look around. Are there lots of kids on the block? Do people walk or jog through the neighborhood at night? A neighborhood can speak volumes by itself.

Research the Homeowner’s Association: What are the regular fees? Are there lawn or construction restrictions? Knowing these things can really make an impact.

Our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agents can furnish you with a wealth of local information and take you on a tour of the closest commerce centers, restaurants and shops. A little groundwork will help ensure that your dream house is surrounded by a dream neighborhood.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

First-Time Buyer Costs

firsttimebuyersBuying a new home can be a huge, complex undertaking, especially when it’s your first time. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced real estate agent guiding you along the way.

The biggest mistake new buyers can make is underestimating the costs of buying a house and maintaining it over time. Many experts agree that homeowners should have 1%-3% of their homes’ purchase price in savings for improvements and surprise expenses. It’s wise to have at least six mortgage payments in the bank after a closing. These estimates may not work for everyone, but if you are spending above your means on a new home, you may quickly find yourself in financial trouble.

Inspections are important for the first-time buyer, as they list repairs that will be needed for the home. A buyer should put together a short-term and long-term plan based on the inspection so they know how much money they will need in the months and years ahead.

Renters are accustomed to paying basic utilities. Homeowners, on the other hand, must also pay for water, sewer and trash collection—as well as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowner’s association dues, yard care, snow removal and other expenses unique to your location.

Buying a home is one of the largest investments you’ll make. Your real estate agent will help each step of the way, first helping you establish a realistic price point for your home purchase and a clear understanding of your monthly expenses.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!