When it comes to buying a new home, don’t allow your emotions to cloud your good judgement. A new house might seem like everything you’ve ever wanted, but that doesn’t mean you should jump on it right off the bat.

Before making an offer, consider a few things beyond price, style and size. Homebuyers often allow their emotions to take over, and end up forgetting the key factors that make a huge difference in the buying process.

Buying a home is an exciting prospect, but jumping the gun can cause considerable stress and financial strain. Consider these tips before deciding if you’re ready to buy a home:

Visit the home at different times of the day.

Windows letting in a lot of light during the day might provide a clear view to someone peeping into them at night. A quiet, residential street might turn into a chaotic mess during morning and evening rush-hours. Even though a nearby school could seem pleasant during the summer, what will it be like during the school year? Don’t forget, even if you don’t have kids, school quality is an important re-sale factor.

Go through recent newspaper archives.

Make sure you have access to information on the things you can’t see. Maybe the water well feeding your neighborhood has extreme levels of contamination, or a power or sewage line may be under construction right in your backyard. Check with the county to find out about upcoming projects that could impact your prospective new home.

Talk to the neighbors.

How many people in the neighborhood own their homes? It might be difficult to determine if the neighborhood you’re looking at is composed of rental homes or actual homeowners. Neighbors can provide a lot of insight into the pros and cons of an area, and give you a sense of whether you’ll feel “at home” in the neighborhood.

Ask about a neighborhood association or community center.

See if they have a newsletter you can look through. Find out about meetings, block parties and other events. An active community shows people care about the area and want to get to know one another. These events build a sense of community and these people could be great assets to look out for your children and your home.

Get a home inspection – no matter the age of the home.

Nearly every home has something wrong with it. Some are obvious. Most are easily corrected. Knowing what you need to fix will help you determine the best price for the home. Also, make sure to have an inspection done to test for lead paint, wood-eating pests and radon. You don’t want any surprises that you could have avoided from the start.

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