When you’re out there shopping for homes and trying to see what is most affordable, a few things to consider:
1. Property taxes. High taxes can make a difference in your house payment.
2. Drive time. Gasoline is expensive but it’s also the wear and tear on your car. Many times purchasing a home outside of a big city can be less expensive, but not always.
3. Efficiency. You can call the local gas company to see what the average gas bill is on any house you’re interested in.
4. Interest rates. Buying at a low rate can certainly get you more house for the same money.
5. Closing costs: Rolling them into your loan can decrease your out of pocket expense at closing.
6. Costly deferred maintenance issues: Foundation, siding, roof, well and septic, and windows. This is especially important to keep in mind if you’re planning on selling in less than 5 years, replacing costly fixes might not have fast enough returns. Over-improvement items as well. Most often a house with a brand new roof will not sell for more than a house with a 3 year roof.