Beyond the Mortgage: Other Decision Factors for Buying a House

When you buy a house, there are two main things you tend to think about: do you like the house itself – are there enough rooms, do you like the layout, is the garden the right size – and can you afford the mortgage that comes with it. However, there are a bunch of other factors that need to be taken into consideration before you sign a contract and land yourselves with a mortgage for a house you love, but that might have some other issues. Before you sign on the dotted line, don’t forget to factor these considerations into your decision:

  • Check out the neighbors as much as is possible. If you feel comfortable going to introduce yourself, do so, and ask what they like about living in the neighborhood (and at the same time, check out whether you think they might cause you any problems). If you don’t want to speak directly too them, come by the property at a couple of different times of day and see what they’re up to.
  • Drive around to check for particularly bad noise pollution. People often visit a home open or inspection on a weekend, but it’s important to go back during the week – perhaps during working time or at peak traffic hour – and check for noise problems like heavy traffic on a nearby highway.
  • If you have children, you’ll need to look into the school situation – for example, try to find out if the local school has a good repuation or not. Some people end up moving house again so that their children can access a more suitable school.
  • One thing people rarely check for, but often regret, is for unusual odors or smells. These tend to come at particular times of day, for example if a breeze blows the smoke from a nearby factory over your house. The best way to find out about this is to ask the neighbors, or try to come back to visit the house at several different times before making a decision.