There are fewer decisions bigger in life than going ahead and putting an offer on a house. It’s fraught with stress, worry, concern, doubt and apprehension.

You don’t want to make an offer simply because the house has a big backyard or just because there’s a really good ice cream parlor within walking distance. Odds are you’ll have to make some sort of sacrifice when searching for the home of your dreams, but there are several key factors you should think about before you make an offer:

Location, location, location

It’s the oldest axiom in the real estate business. Where is the house you want to buy located? Are hospitals nearby? How about shopping? Movie theaters? You want key amenities in the area (or maybe you don’t if you like solitude). Being near electrical towers, dumps or swampy marshland should be a red flag, too. Being close to a school, bus stop or maybe even nothing at all could be a bonus and make the property more desirable to you.

How are the neighbors?

Sure, the neighborhood looks nice, but what about the people who live there? Are there party animals who like to set off firecrackers after midnight down the block? You may not know until you move in, so don’t be afraid to talk to the people on the street to get a feel for them and their experiences living there.


Find out about taxes, insurance and mortgage costs

Yes, you’re going to have pay something to live in any house that has captured your fancy. Do a little research and find out about the cost of these essentials. Not sure where to begin? Talk to your realtor. Any good broker worth his or her salt will be able to point you in the right direction, so you’ll know if your budget can absorb living in the home.

Figure out your commute

Moving to a new home can drastically change how you get to work, as well as how long it takes. Will there be more traffic? Will you need to take mass transit? How much will it cost in gas or mass transit tickets? Do your homework beforehand so you’re not surprised.


How’s the house?

This seems obvious, but you may be so anxious to buy a home you look past it. Sure, you’ll get an inspection, but there are some things you can tell even before without a professional coming in to see what’s wrong. If you look at the house and see the siding is dirty, rusty or peeling, that’s going to cost money to fix. Are there exposed pipes? Chipped paint? An old water heater? Unless the house is brand new, chances are the home will need some sort of upgrade and that means money. Keep that in mind.

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