When you start out in your home search, there are so many factors that contribute to your final decision. Where do you want to live, how many bedrooms do you want or need, what are you comfortable paying and so much more. Style, neighborhood setting and even the commute time to work and convenience stores all play a huge role in your decision.
As emotional individuals, it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a home. But let’s be honest, it is exciting! The thought of making a place your own, adding your personal style and making memories in this place is a dream everyone should look forward to. While all these factors are exciting and something to look forward to, we need to be wise shoppers and make sure to put some thought into our investment. I wanted to give you 5 major things you should consider before pulling the trigger on your new purchase:
1. What is your budget
Buying a home is a big responsibility. Not only do you have a mortgage made up of Principal, Interest, Taxes, & Insurance (P.I.T.I) but you also have utilities, trash and maintenance to take care of. Understanding your budget and knowing what you can afford is a great place to start when thinking about buying. Your agent can help you find out how much these may cost you on a monthly basis so you can make an educated decision about your purchase.
2. Commute Time
This seems like common sense, but acknowledging that you will most likely be commuting about 250/365 days of the year to and from work is a kind of a big deal. Most people are comfortable with a 20-30 minute commute for work and are happiest with less than a 20 minute commute to most grocery and convenience stores. If that’s too long for you, let your agent know and they can often set your search criteria based around location and commute time when searching for a new home.
3. Neighborhood at different times of the day
You may have found the perfect home, but if that means you sit in a traffic jam at 8 a.m. or you hear nothing but trains going by during the day, you may not end up loving it as much as you thought. Stopping by the house and neighborhood during different times of the day may sound like a pain but it may save you from buying something you’ll regret. Check out this article for more tips about the best time to visit a home before you buy.
4. Do you have room to grow
If you are First Time Home buyers or even empty nesters with older parents to look after, sometimes having an extra bedroom or two as an option can be a huge life saver. Outgrowing your house can be frustrating, especially if you don’t really want to move. Giving yourself some extra space for children, friends to sleep over or even taking care of your in-laws can save you from having to pick everything up and move.
5. Features you can’t or shouldn’t change
There are things in life you can change, others you can’t and you have to decide what you are willing to live with. Here’s a short but common list of things you can’t change:
• Location – includes things like lot size, power lines or a busy side street
• Neighbors – I’m serious. If your future neighbor seems quite messy and it bothers you, don’t think for a second that this will change just because you moved in.
• Floor Plan – unless you buy a complete fix and flip – rearranging a floor plan can be both expensive and time consuming. If you want to rearrange the entire house, consider looking for one that better suites you.
• HOA and CC&R – This is a big one because it can be irritating to live in a community that has a say on what you can and can’t do to your home. Homeowners Associations are great but if you want to add a deck to your property, but the association says they don’t allow it, well looks like you’re stuck. Ask you agent about these beforehand if you have any concerns when looking at the property.
While this list could be much longer, these are the most common and most important things to keep in mind. Ultimately everyone’s situation is different and being upfront and open with your real estate agent can help save you valuable time and money when shopping for your new home. For more great information, check out this article for a few additional things to consider.
I hope this article was helpful and please let me know if we can assist you with any questions or real estate needs. Have a great day!!