Buying a house can be a stressful event. Moving into that house can be even more stressful. According to UH Connor Integrative Health Network, moving is number three on the list of top five stressors a human can handle, right behind the death of a loved one and divorce. So, we’re not kidding when we say we know that moving can be stressful.
If you think buying a house is as easy as buying a new washer/dryer from a big box store, you may be in for a surprise. Buying a house is not always easy, and there are things you need to think about, such as budget and, believe it or not, time of year, before you jump into buying a new home.
Hopefully, for your peace of mind and to help keep your stress level low, here are some quick tips for making buying a house in Utah just a little easier.
Figure out your budget
Knowing your budget will be a huge factor in knowing where you should be looking for a house. You’ll want to keep this budget handy and consult it not only for buying your house but also for knowing how much you can spend on monthly home expenses, renovations if they’re needed, as well as general living expenses.
The cost of living in Utah and the housing market vary widely from city to city so, knowing what you can afford will save you time and energy when you start looking for a house.
Once you have your budget worked out, you can pinpoint where you can afford to live, and you can look in the places that are the best match for your budget.
You should also know what else you want besides the house, such as great schools, proximity to shopping and retail centers, or outdoor recreation access. You’re not just buying a house; you’re setting up a life in and around the area as well; make sure you’re not putting yourself somewhere you cannot stand to live.
It’s always a good idea to get pre-approved for a home loan before you head out on your search. Knowing what you can spend will help you with your budget and let you know where and what you can feasibly look for. Talk to your bank or a lending company and work out the event’s financial side first; you’ll feel more comfortable, and knowing what you can spend will help reduce some of the stress.
What time of year to buy
Believe it or not, the Utah housing market varies greatly, not just by location but also depending on the time of year.
The colder months, November through February, tend to be good times to buy a home in Utah. The problems one faces moving into a new place during the frigid and snowy months, along with the bustle and commitments of the holiday season, deter many Utah residents from looking for a new house during this time. The market then becomes slower in these cold months, and some sellers are potentially willing to accept lower offers on homes they have been trying to sell for a while.
In spring and summer, Utah houses tend to sell more quickly. If you’re looking to buy a house in the warmer months, you should expect more competition and, thus, a more expensive market.
Since the Utah housing market moves rather quickly during these warmer months, you must have your loan pre-approved and your budget set before you start looking.
One advantage of buying during the warmer months is you’ll have good weather in which to move.
Know what you’re getting into
This is another weather-related consideration. It’s easy to fall in love with a house and overlook details that may become problems soon. When you’re looking at your perspective new place, take your time, drive by it at all times of the day, see the neighborhood activity. When you’re walking through, ask questions, open doors, check the water pressure, and be as picky as possible.
In cold months with snow and ice, a steep driveway is going to be a problem. Are you willing to deal with that four months out of the year? If not, what’s it going to cost to change that situation. What about when guests come by or older family members? How will that impact their visiting?
How are your allergies? In warm weather, cottonwood trees burst, and the air is full of spores near them. What kind of trees and flowers are growing around your property? Will they cause you misery for seven or eight months a year? What will the cost be to have trees or plants removed? Is that an expense you can handle? And what about the neighborhood, is there allergy irritating flora all around you?
If you are looking to purchase in the summer months, find out about the heating system. How old is it, how worn is it, and does it even still work? Easy to overlook that aspect of the house when it’s 102 in the shade outside. You’ll be sorry when the winter comes, and you’re suddenly facing the need for a new furnace. Can you handle that expense?
Likewise, if you’re buying during the winter, check on the air conditioning system. You may be wrapped up in a comfy sweater while looking at your new home but, when summer comes and the temperatures are rising, will you have an excellent cooling system, or will you have to deal with replacing that as well?
It’s essential to be prepared before you step onto the house buying trail, and it’s equally important to ask questions, all your questions. About schools and recreational areas, about restaurants and crime. No question is stupid, and no realtor should be upset or make you feel like you’re imposing on them to ask questions. This is a massive step in your life; don’t take anything for granted.
Building a new home
If you’re looking to buy a house, but you haven’t found anything that jumps out at you, another option, instead of endlessly driving through neighborhoods, is to have a home built for you.
Someplace like Revere Homes has many options for custom-built, new homes. You can choose from a variety of floor plans as well as exterior choices and landscaping options. You can become a part of a good community in many places all around Utah.
Like those built by Revere Homes, custom homes take the guesswork out of home buying and allow you to say we got exactly what we wanted.
With a custom-built home, you’ll know what’s in the area, from schools to recreation, and you’ll be moving into a safe and secure neighborhood.
A custom home is yours from the very start, no one has lived in it before, and you don’t have to worry about renovations or the house’s history. It is designed and built specifically for you and your family’s needs.
No matter which option you choose, buying a pre-owned home, or having one custom-built, you’ll still want to have your loan pre-approved and know exactly what you want and what you can afford before you move on to the buying phase. And always ask questions. Not asking questions will lead to regret later.
This is a big step in your life, but, when done right, it can be an exciting step and one that changes your life for the better for a long time to come.