It is possible to over-research when buying a house? Are you merely putting it off because of your fears? Perhaps. Otherwise, the more you know about the purchase you're getting ready to make, the better. The number one thing that separates a successful real estate purchase from one you'll regret is research. What's especially frustrating is that most homeowners know almost instantly upon moving in whether or not they've made a mistake. They realize it on their first night in the house, when the freight train rumbles past at 2:00 in the morning or when they realize their neighbors are the type to hold concerts in the front yard. Don't make yourself susceptible to regret. Here are some ways to know the house you're buying.
Make Regular Visits
You've seen what the house looks like at 10:00 in the morning on a Wednesday. What more do you know? Unless that's the only time you plan to be home, you need further investigation. A quiet neighborhood in the middle of the week could turn into a block party on the weekend. Go back and visit several times, at various times of day. Park and stay a while. What kinds of neighborly activity happen on Saturday night? How many screaming kids are running up and down the streets in the afternoons after school? No neighborhood is going to be perfect, but you should make sure you aren't about to buy real estate in a place you'll hate.
Chat With the Neighbors
Observation isn't going to tell you everything. Knock on some doors and see what people have to say about the neighborhood. If you realize that renters surround you, you know right away that you can't count on things to stay the way they are now. Even if that's not the case, the neighbors may be able to tell you some things you can't tell from the outside. You may even realize quickly that the people you're talking to are not people you would like to live near. Then again, they could simply reaffirm that you're making the right choice.
Interview the Sellers
At some point, you should sit down with the sellers and make them spill their guts. Ask them why they are choosing to sell? Watch carefully for any signs of deceit. People usually have a very good reason for making a life change this significant. If they sort of glance at each other and avoid the question, you know something is amiss. Ask about any problems they've had with the house. You deserve to know what you're getting into. Let them know you'll be hiring a home inspector, which will hopefully persuade them to be honest about its history. These questions and answers can save you from making a real estate choice you'll regret.