Take a Look at What's Inside
What Should I Look For When Deciding On A Community?
How Can I Find Out About Schools & Community Resources?
What Should I Look For When Walking Through A Home?
How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?
What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?
Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?
What Should I Do If I'm Feeling Excluded From Certain Neighborhoods?
How Can I Find Information On The Property Tax Liability?
What Other Issues Should I Consider Before I Buy My Home
This video tells you what any real estate professional would tell you - select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people with children choose communities based on schools. Do you want access to shopping and public transportation? Is access to local facilities like libraries and museums important to you? Or do you prefer the peace and quiet of a rural community? When you find places that you like, talk to people that live there. They know the most about the area and will be your future neighbors. More than anything, you want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable. How Can I Find Out About Schools & Community Resources?
The video puts this in more visual terms, but basically, contact the local chamber of commerce for promotional literature or talk to your real estate agent about welcome kits, maps, and other information. You can get information about school systems by contacting the city or county school board or the local schools. You may also want to visit the local library. It can be an excellent source for information on local events and resources and the librarians will probably be able to answer many of the questions you have What Should I Look For When Walking Through A Home?
As we show you in this video, in addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists use the HUD Home Scorecard and consider the following: Is there enough room for both the present and the future? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? Is the house structurally sound? Do the mechanical systems and appliances work? Is the yard big enough? Do you like the floor plan? Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space? Bring a tape measure to better answer these questions and write down your measurements. Does anything need to repaired or replaced? Will the seller repair or replace the items? Imagine the house in good weather and bad and in each season. Will you be happy with it year-round? Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Keep the scorecard and notes for each one. How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?
There are some great tips in this video, like: if possible, take photographs of each house: the outside, the major rooms, the yard and extra features that you like or ones you see as potential problems. Write things down as you go. And don't hesitate to return for a second look. Use the HUD Home Scorecard (www.hud.gov/buying/checklist.pdf) to organize your photos and notes for each house. What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?
As you'll see in this video, many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance like paint, roof, heating and AC, appliances and carpet? Also ask about the house and neighborhood focusing on quality of life issues. Be sure the seller's or real estate agent's answers are clear and complete. Like the video says, ask questions until you understand all of the information they've given. Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive. The HUD Home Scorecard can help you develop your question list and keep a record for each potential home. Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?
Well, as this story shows, there isn't a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may be in more established neighborhoods offer more ambiance and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however shouldn't mind maintaining their home and making some repairs. Newer homes tend to use more modern architecture and systems are usually easier to maintain and may be more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don't want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs. What Should I Do If I'm Feeling Excluded From Certain Neighborhoods?
Like the video says, immediately contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) if you ever feel excluded from a neighborhood or particular house. Also, contact HUD if you believe you are being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, nationality, familial status, or disability. HUD's Office of Fair Housing has a hotline for reporting incidents of discrimination: 1-800-669-9777 and 1-800-927-9275 for the hearing impaired. How Can I Find Information On The Property Tax Liability?
This video tells you about it. The total amount of the previous year's property taxes is usually included in the listing information. If it's not, ask the seller for a tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office. Tax rates can change from year to year so these figures may be approximate. Keep in mind that your mortgage interest and real estate taxes will be deductible. A qualified real estate professional can give you more details on other tax benefits and liabilities. What Other Issues Should I Consider Before I Buy My Home?
Watch this video and take a few notes! Always check to see if the house is in a low-lying area in a high-risk area for natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. or in a hazardous materials area. Be sure the house meets building codes. Also consider local zoning laws which could affect remodeling or making an addition in the future.
These videos are for informational purposes only when thinking about buying or selling a house. These are not intended to supersede any information or transaction that you may be involved in with a Broker, Lender or other Real Estate Professional.