Top Ten Things to Consider When Buying a Home - Part 3  
What kind of garage or parking facilities do you want? Do you want a two car garage? Do you use your garage for storage as well? In the low country, most people don’t have basements, so the garage is an important storage option. Also, the weather here can be very hot a good part of the year, so having a nice shady place to park is a real plus. Would a simple car port be enough? Townhomes and condos might have a parking garage, a shared garage space, or just an outdoor parking space. Do you have to pay extra for any of those options?
What is the condition of the house? If you are buying an older house, you will want to hire a reputable inspection company to ensure there are no major issues with the construction. Whether it’s termites, mold, plumbing issues, old outdated wiring, roof problems; all of these can have a devastating impact on your pocketbook. If you’re still interested in the house, get a few estimates on what it would cost to fix these things and add the total to the price of the home, or try to get the seller to take some of it off the price. The Hiers team can help put you in contact with a good reputable inspector to give you the scoop on whatever issues there are with the house in question.
How much cost and effort would it take to change the things you don’t like? A lot of people look at a home and make judgments on it based on the way the house was staged. This is a big mistake. When you look at a home, imagine it without the furnishings to see what potential there is for each room. Just because someone put a bed in what would normally be the living room doesn’t mean you have to use it as a bedroom. You don’t like the colors on the walls? Get it repainted! Many aesthetic features can be changed with a minimum of cost and effort. You’d much rather have the entire house repainted, than pay for a serious mold issue.
10.   Can you afford it? Ok, so this might be an automatic number one on the list. We can all agree a lot of people should have thought about this a few years back when the real estate boom was in full swing. Remember, none of the other factors above will make any difference if your house goes into foreclosure. With the way the market is nowadays, this decision will probably be made for you anyway.
    Also keep in mind that just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you’ll want to. Think about how much you will have left after paying the mortgage each month for things like vacations, your children’s education, and just plain old savings! The rule of thumb is you should not be spending more than 1/3 of your income on your mortgage.
This list was not compiled in any order of importance. It’s really up to you to determine whether location is more important than the number of bedrooms for example. Just think about what you want in each of these ten factors, decide what is most critical, and weigh the rest accordingly. Good luck finding your new home!
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