After you get married and begin the process of starting a family, you’ll want to consider buying your first home. Buying a home rather than paying rent each month is great because you are actually investing in something that can earn you money in the long run; or at the very least allow you to break even. When you are ready to start thinking about buying your first home, there are many things you’ll need to consider. Most people focus on the size of the rooms and the color of the siding, but there are many things that you need to take into account before you decide on a final location.

Schools

Since you are probably looking to buy a home to start a family, you’ll want to do some research on the local schools to see how they stack up against other districts. If the school in your neighborhood ranks well, it is a good sign that this will be a nice place to raise children. Additionally, you should make sure that you’re near a good park and that there is a public library in the town or city you choose so your children will have access to research and play.

Local Laws

Another thing you’ll want to check on is the local laws. For instance, you’ll want to know what the ordinance for noise is so you can avoid being woken up at 11pm by loud music next door. Furthermore, certain items such as sparklers aren’t allowed in specific areas, and you may even need to have a permit to have a fire in your backyard. By knowing the local laws, you will know exactly what to expect while living in that neighborhood.


Crime Rate

You will want to research the crime rate of an area before moving in; especially if you plan to have children. You don’t want to move into an area with a lot of theft or violence, so doing your homework ahead of time can be very beneficial. There are many websites where this information is readily available; otherwise you can contact the local police department to obtain their yearly report.

Property Taxes

One of the hidden costs that most people forget about is property tax. Often times, you can find a really great price on a house only to find that the yearly property taxes are very high. Though it seemed like you were getting a great deal originally, adding those extra costs to your mortgage payment can be a real game changer. Make sure you research what the current property taxes are in your area and talk to local officials about new projects coming in the next few years that may add to those taxes. Remember, things like new schools and local road construction can cause a boost in the amount you pay each year.