Questions to ask before choosing your new home

So you’ve decided to buy a new house. Maybe you’re moving to a new city, or maybe just a new part of town. Maybe you’ve come to a crossroads in your life and decided it’s time to take the homeownership leap.

Before you even think about shopping around, you have to decide what means the most to you, because that will factor in when choosing a house.  There are often items you know are non-negotiables when you start your home search, your job is to determine which are wants, needs, and nice-to-haves.

A question mark under a roof symbolizing which questions you should ask before choosing a home.

For instance in my last home search I knew I wanted a pool or at least a yard big enough to build a pool.  And if there was not already a pool built in, then I needed a price point that would allow flexibility for the pool to be built.

Here is a simple list of a few things to consider when beginning your housing search.

Research traffic patterns

Think realistically about how far away you’d be comfortable living, and take a look at traffic patterns to see how bad the traffic would be on your drive.  Also take into account your town or cities growth patterns and how well structured the roads and freeways are.  Are the highways ready for such growth or is your commute predictably going to get longer as your community grows?

How are the schools rated?

Children or not, the schools in your district play a large part into your resale value.  Consider this, homes in the best school districts, on average, sell for higher prices than similar homes in less-popular school districts.

And if you are planning a family, schools are probably on the top of your list when you are considering neighborhoods.  One out of five home buyers said they would pay six to 10 percent above their budget for the right school. One out of 10 would double that to 20 percent.

The good, the bad and the ugly on your HOA

Ever lived in a neighborhood with a particularly strict HOA (that’s the Homeowner’s Association, for you first-timers)? When you start your house search, be sure to spend a little bit of time researching the HOA’s rules and regulations.  Too strict or too lenient and you might be in for a rough road ahead.

Crime and punishment

Ask about the crime level in specific neighborhoods when you start your hunt. If you have small children, you might be less willing to expose them to higher crime rates than if you live on your own.


Try to get the feel of the neighborhood dynamics by spending some time in the neighborhoods you think you might be interested in; too quiet, too routy, homes too close together?  Be sure to pay attention to these things and also be sure to mention it to your real estate agent when you start looking.

Finally, before you start looking at houses, consider getting approved for a loan upfront so you’ll know exactly how much house you can afford. Learn more about our upfront underwriting process here, and then visit our website for more details.

The Certo Team
55 N. Arizona Place Suite #103
Chandler, AZ 85225

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