When you are looking at a home for sale, it makes sense that you would focus on the structure, right? Things like whether the foundation is stable, when the air conditioner was last replaced, and what shape the plumbing is in are certainly important. But if you only consider the structure of the home, you might find yourself unhappy with your purchase a few months down the road. As such, it is important to also consider these non-structural factors when looking at homes for sale.
1. The Neighborhood
This factor is pretty vague, but consider the neighborhood in general. Is it somewhere you feel comfortable taking a walk in the evening? Are there other people nearby who you can see yourself becoming friends with? If you have a family but everyone else in the neighborhood seems to be 60 or older, it may not be the neighborhood for you, even if it is a perfectly nice neighborhood.
2. School District
If you have kids, this one is vital. But it's important to buy in a good school district even if you don't have kids since your home will then hold its value better. Look up the ratings, and try to buy in a school district that at least ranks in the top half. Does everyone in the area seem to send their kids to private schools? That could be a sign that the public schools are bad, so look into that.
3. Proximity to the Highway
Ease of travel is important. You don't really want to have to travel 30 minutes to even reach the highway before going somewhere. Unless you are happy living way out in the country and rarely venturing outside of your own town, then you really want to look for a home that's less than a 10-minute drive from an on-ramp.
Don't forget to look how high the property taxes are on the home you are thinking about buying! If the property tax is astronomically high, then living in the home will be a lot less affordable than you might have assumed based on the mortgage. Sometimes when a home is cheaper than you think it should be, it's because the property taxes are really high.
Don't forget to consider elements other than a home's physical structure when you buy. Talk to your residential real estate broker to learn more about these items to consider and others.