Buying A House

5:55 PM

I've gotten the opportunity to pick the brain of a successful realtor in Boston and it's been fascinating to see her pinpoint the potential that she can see in a house that is otherwise run-down and plain dirty in my eyes. Now that I've graduated from college I see this experience not only as useful but totally necessary, especially for planning my future which will undoubtedly have a wonderful house in it! There are so many things I never even thought to consider for making a purchase and I thought I'd share some of the interesting tidbits I've learned.

  1. The first step in buying a house is making sure you're absolutely ready for it. To be ready means that you are not in debt, you can at put down at least 20% and your mortgage does not come to more than 1/4 of your income (The Money Answer Book, Dave Ramsey). 
  2. Once you've got the first step down the first things to notice for a house are the things that would potentially need to get fixed for large amounts of money. 
  3. The roof: depending on what types of shingles, the further apart they are, the older they are. A typical roof can cost $10K-$15K to replace. If a roof is old, you may buy a house and then be blasted five years from your purchase with a $10K bill to replace it. Good to keep that in mind.
  4. Paint: If your house is old, it's important to be wary of the potential of lead paint in the house. You can check for this by running your hands gently against the walls and the window frames and seeing if the paint chips off. If you see multiple layers of paint, it's likely there's lead paint underneath. Just ensure that the paint is intact and this isn't too much of a problem but you also don't want your young children eating the lead paint. 
  5. Radiators, generators, windows: all things to check up on. Radiators may need a replacement which can be costly. Check to see that your generator isn't outdated (or even recalled). And the windows are important for insulation in the house 
  6. Water marks: The appearance of water marks is generally a bad thing. They're pretty easy to notice, stained walls/floors. If on a laminated floor you can tell if there's been water damage because the floorboards are warped. There's no way to fix this, you have to replace the flooring if this is in your house. 
  7. Parking and Space: the potential of having more than 2 parking spots is an amazing quality for a house, especially for family-size. The yard space and the size of the house also should be taken into account with the cost. 
  8. I didn't know this but there are multiple people involved with the home-buying process, realty agents, mortgage brokers, lawyers, etc. There is also a law with agents that prevents them from discriminating neighborhoods so it's a good idea to make sure you do thorough research on the areas that your potential purchase will be at! 
Those are the most important things I picked out today. I'll do another blog post on some cool spots that I've visited in Boston and probably another to recap more on the house-buying process. For all my recent grads, I hope you enjoyed this post! I know the home buying process will here in a matter of years for you guys, you definitely don't want to be renting forever. 

I also recommend reading "The Money Answer Book" by Dave Ramsey. If your parents haven't been very active in teaching you how to manage your finances and you are at least 20 years old, you need to take charge and start thinking seriously about saving and investing for your future. Dave Ramsey is extremely conservative with his financial planning options but it's the path to take for a successful financial future!

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