You’ve toured the house. You like what you see. But what is it really like to live there? Practice Daily Life Some of the most important aspects of living in a home never show up during a walkthrough. How is traffic in the area? Ask your REALTOR® what a typical morning commute is like. Are alternate routes available? Better yet: get to the home early and do a practice commute. Drive back at the end of the day, too—congestion may be different. What is the neighborhood like? Your REALTOR® may have sold other properties nearby and can describe the area. Pet-friendly? Do cars tend to speed down the streets? Take some time to wander around. Chat with neighbors and passersby and ask what it’s like to live there. Is it under a flight path? Does noise travel from other properties? Does the area have ongoing wildlife or pest issues? History 101 It’s nice to know a little bit about your future home. Ask your REALTOR® when the property was built and how many previous owners it’s had. Was the home custom-built by the owners or one of the models in the subdivision? You can do your own research online as well. Share Your Concerns Picture yourself living here. How do you feel? What concerns you about the property? Are you worried a sloped backyard will drain into your home? Share your thoughts with your REALTOR®. He or she may be able to address your concerns, or find out who can.
Rising real estate costs can make buying a home with extended family a convenient and practical choice. Here are some questions to consider while searching for a multigenerational home. What Floor Plan Works Best? Besides deciding how many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed, determine what layout suits your family’s lifestyle. For example, is mobility a concern for aging parents? That might affect the location of the bedrooms or whether you choose a one-story house. Will There be Enough Privacy? While gathering is part of the draw of a multigenerational home, open floor plans and bigger shared areas—like the kitchen or family room—may result in fewer or smaller bedrooms. Are you open to some remodeling to create additional private spaces? Where Will Everything Go? More family members mean more stuff. Determine if you will need a storage unit or to use your garage. Depending on the number of cars, you may need to look for a home with a long driveway. Keep in mind that some homeowners associations do not allow street parking. One Buyer or Two? Every family needs to discuss ahead of time how to finance the home, the arrangement of the mortgage, and how other expenses will be handled. Don’t let the challenge of trying to accommodate everyone’s needs overwhelm you. Reach out to a REALTOR® to help you find the home that best fits your family.
With a decision as big as a real estate transaction, you’ll want good advice from people you can trust. Your friends and family may not have all the answers—in fact, they may give you outdated or incorrect information. Your REALTOR® s a trusted professional who deals with real estate issues every day. REALTORS® can help dispel myths that could limit your search or unduly influence one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. Beware of the following myths: Myth: You Need a 20% Down Payment. Reality: Though many buyers do put down 20% or more, Texas homebuyers paid a median 14% down payment in 2020, according to the Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers report. First-time homebuyers paid a median 6%. There are many types of loans and programs you may qualify for to help you buy a home even if you don’t have a 20% down payment. Myth: You Must Have Spotless Credit. Reality: You may be able to secure a loan even with a low credit score. There are also steps you can take to improve your credit score to boost your chances of getting a loan. Myth: Don’t Buy the Biggest or Most Expensive House in the Neighborhood. Reality: This myth suggests that you may have difficulty finding a buyer when it comes time to sell or that your property value won’t rise in proportion to other homes in the neighborhood. But that is an overgeneralization. Many factors come into play for how much a home is worth. You should buy the house that best meets your needs and lifestyle. Myth: You Need to Time the Market. Reality: Don’t wait to buy a home because you think the price will go down. What if it doesn’t? It’s a bad idea to try to time your home purchase to avoid a seller’s market or join a buyer’s market. Those market conditions may not apply to the house or neighborhood you’re considering. You should buy when it makes sense for you. Don’t rely on bad information when it comes to your home. Your REALTOR® can dispel the myths and make the real estate transaction as smooth as possible.