By Anita Ginsburg
Buying a house is one of the largest investments you'll ever make. It's crucial that you make wise decisions when purchasing a house to protect your investment. Here are five criteria to consider to ensure this:
Location of the House
Location is often considered the most important criteria when buying property. The house should be located in a neighborhood that's safe, so check the crime statistics for the area. Make sure it's in an area convenient to everywhere you need to get to, such as work, doctors, schools, stores, church and restaurants.
The location of the home within the neighborhood is also important. Property values may be lower when you buy a home on a busy street or backing to a busy road. It may be more desirable to be on an inside lot, on a street that's not too busy or on a cul-de-sac, if possible.
Size and Shape of the Lot
Some people like lots that offer more privacy, such as a corner lot where you won't have neighbors on both sides of you. Some people like pie-shaped lots on a cul-de-sac where the backyard is bigger and wider than the front yard. Think about your own preferences and be sure to take them into account.
Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms
If you're buying a smaller home, you may want to look for something with at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms, or, if you can afford a larger home, maybe four bedrooms and at least 2.5 bathrooms. Having an extra bedroom as an office, den or playroom is always nice, if you can afford it.
Age of the House
It's important to consider the age of the home. You want to make sure the guts of the property, such as the pipes and electrical system, are not so old that they can be a hazard. Consider the age of the roof, windows, furnace, air conditioner, hot water heater, etc. If these are at or near the end of their life, it can be very costly to replace them.
Condition of the House
It's very important to have a professional home inspection done to make sure the house is in good condition. Sometimes a property looks good cosmetically, but has many problems that you can't see with the bare eye. Professionals will know what to look for to ensure that the home is safe for you and your family.
Considering these criteria is critical to ensure that you're making a smart choice when purchasing a home. You want to choose a house that'll increase in value and not cost you a lot in repairs.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business and family. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. When you're looking to buy property, she always recommends assessing the neighborhood first.