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What I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Home

By: Olivia Bae

July 18, 2017

Image via C Home


Congratulations are in order! All of your hard work and long hours have paid off and you’ve finally reached the ultimate level of adulthood: buying a home. While you’re probably inclined to take any gem on the market that your heart (and wallet) so desires, making an important decision based on emotions and eagerness is, well, not an approach we recommend. So, from budgeting to understanding your new financial responsibility, a couple homeowners from Laurel & Wolf are sharing what every prospective homeowner should know before purchasing a home.


Renovate by the Rules
What I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Home

Image via House Beautiful

If you’re looking to redesign your new abode without restrictions, be sure to find out more information on the neighborhood’s Home Owners Association (HOA) and their policies. Developments with consistent exteriors or notable historical significance are likely to be regulated and protected by the board. Homeowner Dave Arthurs advises buyers to “respect the historicity” of older homes to preserve their authenticity and unique vintage charm.

Budget Smart
What I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Home

Image via C Home

Before coming up with a budget for your down payment, determine how much you’d like to spend on home décor. “You might have to buy new furniture or add to what you already have,“ says Dave Arthurs. If you find that your sectional sofa and king-size bed are too big for your new bungalow, you’ll need to purchase new furnishings that are appropriate in size and proportions. Consider the cost of filling your new house as part of the overall house purchase budget.

Funding Home Inspections
This coastal living room with sky blue interiors and elegant, creamy walls and staircase show us how graceful design is done.

Image via Lark & Linen

Pipes, roofs, and walls all have a limited life expectancy, making home inspections absolutely essential. Aisling Ackerman explains, “A lot of people don’t know that the buyer pays for inspections.” If you’re trying to save a couple thousand bucks, hiring a meticulous home inspector out-of-pocket may not be ideal, but it might just save your bank account in the long run.

Owning Financial Responsibility
Dark hardwood floors, black bar stools, and industrial style light fixtures create a chic, urban dining space.

Image via Leicht

With home ownership comes real financial obligations. Aisling Ackerman says, “A closing cost can be about one percent of the home’s total cost. That alone can be a major expense.”  So before all else, ask yourself if you can successfully accommodate the costs of possessing and managing a home. If you’re feeling anxious or horrified at the thought of it, you might not be emotionally and financially prepared to take on such a commitment.

Bounding Deeds

Before purchasing a home, don’t forget to ask the seller if the property is bound to any deeds in the past. Aisling Ackerman says, “The land we bought has been documented since the early 1900s, and we found that there is information about prohibition, saying that alcohol cannot be consumed on the property.” While a deed like this is invalid today, there can be numerous other restraints attached to a property that may be irritating or burdensome to have.

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