Wondering what to look for when buying a house? This major life milestone can be as stressful as it is exciting. However, having a firm grasp on what you want and what you need can make the process go more smoothly.

Here’s what you should consider when buying a house:

1. The Right Price

Perhaps nothing could be more important in buying a new home than setting a budget. Go into the viewing process with a firm idea of how much you are willing to spend and whether you’re willing to do the work on a fixer upper. It’s also recommended to have a down payment ready and to have your mortgage loan pre-approved, so that no other potential buyer can get an offer in ahead of you.

2. The Right Location

While it’s common sense that potential homeowners will want to choose the best possible locations for their homes, there are many factors that go into finding the perfect spot: Is the neighborhood safe? Is the road busy? Try to get to know the area, especially during peak traffic hours, and consider how it may affect your commute. Also consider the property’s distance from the nearest grocery store, your kids’ schools and other frequent destinations.

3. Affordable Taxes and Reasonable Cost of Living

Once again, location is key in selecting the best house for you. Neighborhood safety is important, but taxes also affect your budget. Be aware of property taxes in the area, including the recent history of property values in your new neighborhood. If you’re moving to a new state or a larger city, include potential increased sales taxes — along with a generally higher cost of living — in your budget.

4. Size and Style

It’s important to be cognizant of outside forces such as neighbors and location, but this is your house. You should look for what makes you happy, in size and style. Minimalists might still want a big yard for a furry friend, while young couples often like to plan for a family. With an investment this big, planning is key, but so is finding an option that excites you. Be clear and firm with your real estate agent about what you’re looking for in terms of style to maximize your efforts and find your dream home.

5. Property Size

Consider what you want to use your property for when you’re looking to buy a new house. Concerns such as pets are important, but there are other uses for yard space, such as pools, gardens and sheds for hobbies or storage. If outdoor space is integral for you, make sure you communicate this need. Also remember that the size of your new house and property dictates the amount of time it takes to clean and maintain; sometimes bigger isn’t always better.

6. School District

If you have children, the all-important home location is closely tied to education. You’ll want to scope out nearby schools, potentially choosing a neighborhood based on its educational district.

7. Amenities

As technology becomes a larger part of every aspect of existence, many prospective homebuyers are seeking smart home features. Others are looking for a house that comes with landscaping services or other benefits that could help save time and reduce maintenance. Keep these in mind as you search for your prospective home.

8. HOA Association

Homebuyers must decide if they want to seek a house that falls within a homeowners’ association, which can come with dues, neighborhood standards and regular meetings. While there are many benefits of an HOA, some prospective buyers pale at the idea of having to approve every change with an overseeing board. Having a clear idea of what type of management you want (if any) can help eliminate unlikely options.

There are many things to look for when buying a house, whether you are looking to buy your first home, an SFR property or an investment property. Marketplace Homes is ready to answer your questions, no matter what you’re looking for in your next purchase. Reach out to us today to find the perfect home.