No doubt the reason you would rather buy a house rather than continue to rent is because you want to put down roots. It’s wonderful to have a place of your own that you can renovate as you please. If you are also just starting a family, then you are probably looking for a place that your children can grow up in and call home.

Shopping for a home consists of more than going through property and realty websites, reviewing classified advertising, asking people, driving through neighborhoods to spot for sale signs posted on the front lawn, and visiting open houses.

There are many other things that you look for other than the appearance of the house and a survey of the neighborhood. Here are some tips on how to dig a little deeper into deciding whether you have found the right house even if the appearance and the price appear right.

1. Do you like the quality of the neighborhood?

Is the neighborhood a safe one? Although, it’s almost impossible to find a perfectly safe neighborhood unless you live in a gated community, what you’re looking to avoid is a neighborhood where there is a long history of criminal activity. If the neighborhood is attractive and has a good history despite a recent rise in crime, you can further ensure your sense of safety by using a top-rated monitored security service like ADT Home Security to keep your family, pets, and possessions safe.

2. Will you be able to manage the mortgage?

As a new homeowner, the biggest risk you face is buying a grander house than you can afford. While you might be able to get a generous loan based on your excellent credit score, you have to think of how you will be able to manage the mortgage payments over the years. Do you have a stable job? Is there a chance you might be forced to relocate? The last thing you want is to be locked into home ownership before you have developed some measure of financial stability. If in doubt, then either postpone home ownership or choose to buy less house than you can afford.

3. Is it the right time?

The right time to buy a house is when you have enough to make a down payment, when you can comfortably afford the monthly mortgage, and when you have a good credit score. In addition, try to get some understanding of the housing market at the time you’re thinking of buying a home. Sometimes prices rise and sometimes they fall. You should avoid buying a house when the housing market is on the rise. Instead, the best time to buy is when the market is close to the bottom. You want to avoid overpaying for a house whose value has risen due to inflationary trends.

4. Do you like the style and the neighborhood facilities?

Does the neighborhood have the ambiance you’re looking for? If you’re a romantic, you might prefer older homes in a historic district, but if you’re a modernist, then you might be more content with a new subdivision. In addition to the age and style of the homes in a neighborhood, you may also want to live in a place that is closer to the facilities or amenities that you desire—for instance, a shopping center, recreational centers, tennis courts, golf courses, fitness facilities, parks, swimming pools, schools, and so on.

5. Does the house have some hidden problems?

It’s important that you get a good idea of the condition of the house before you buy it. You don’t want to buy a house that may have mold infestation in the walls, plumbing issues, or a roof that is soon going to need repairs. It’s only too easy for a home owner to slap on a beautiful coat of paint and fix up some obvious problems with a house. Make sure that you get a thorough building inspection before you make a final decision.

Budgeting your money after you move out on your own, saving up for a down payment and acquiring an immaculate score isn’t enough to be a happy first time home owner. There are many other factors that go into deciding on the right house to buy, and it’s only too easy to get emotionally attached to an attractive looking home and not think about many potential problems.