Buying a house is a big decision. If that house is your first home, it is a monumental step. In all likelihood, you have been planning, saving, and looking forward to the purchase for a very long time. Now you are finally ready! You don’t want to do anything that will make buying your dream home a nightmare.
The reality of buying a house is going to be very different from how you imagined it. If you let yourself be guided by your fantasies of how a dream home should look, you will end up in disappointment. A common problem for first-time homebuyers is to buy more than they need. Or, they base their buying decisions on something they read online or saw on TV.
Before buying your dream home, you should be clear on why you need a house, what that house should have and how much you are willing to pay for it. Real Property Group advises that the sole factor should not be the price of the home because an affordable home could have huge renovation costs. An expensive home, on the other hand, will burden you with oversized monthly payments.
Below are the 10 crucial things you should think of before buying that dream home.
1. Is it the right time to buy?
Housing prices change with conditions in the housing market and the overall economy. Seasonal changes affect the prices of homes; offers start to dry up as winter approaches. Even if you think you are ready now, you will be at a disadvantage if you buy at the wrong time of the year. Contact an expert agent to help you understand the statistics for your local market.
2. What you want versus what you need
Before you start looking at houses, you should be clear on what you want. Make a distinction between the must-have and optional features of the house. Also, think of where your life will be in the next 5-10 years and the kind of home you will need. Buy a home you can grow into.
3. Where do you want to buy it?
Location matters because the environment exerts more influence on your life than you realize. The location influences the price of the home and the kinds of people you will have as neighbors. Look for a neighborhood that reflects the lifestyle you want in the future. If you buy a house solely based on your current realities, you can not call it a dream home.
4. House size and neighborhood amenities
What do you want the neighborhood to have? Do you want a home in a bustling area of the city? Or do you want one with quiet streets and neighbors walking their dogs?
Think of the school district and access to different modes of transport – rail, road, and air. Are there nearby restaurants, libraries, coffee shops, cinemas, workplaces, and shopping centers?
5. Lot size
Lot size matters, especially if you have children or pets or plan to have them in the future. It also matters if you like gardening, entertaining, or any other outdoor activity. The size of the lot determines if you can build any additional structures on your property. The lot size is not something you can change, so think about it carefully.
6. The house style and layout
The style of the house refers to the architectural design of the building. A home’s style does impose restrictions on what you can do in terms of renovations. Another vital thing to consider is the layout. Do you want an open or closed floor plan? Do you prefer a large living room or spacious bedrooms?
7. How old is the property?
There are advantages to buying a new home or an old one. Brand new homes will have new systems and appliances; you will not be dealing with repairs for a long time. A new home also comes with warranties. An old house will have the charm that is not possible to create in a new home. It will have valuable features that newer homes no longer possess.
8. The price of the home
The price is where your list of must-haves and optional features will come in handy. You would be overreaching yourself if you tried to buy a home that meets all your fantasies. You must find that sweet spot between what you need in a house and what you can afford.
9. What will your monthly payments be?
This one is certainly related to the previous. Even if you can buy the home using a first-time buyer program, you will still have monthly payments. Those payments must be at a level you can afford. Mortgage rates are another reason to time the purchase of your home. If you can, wait until rates are lower and lock in those low rates.
10. Think about the future
How easy will it be to sell the house if you ever decide to market it? Is there a possibility of converting the home to a rental property? Can you make the property more valuable by building other structures on the land? Think about what is possible to do with the home before you buy it.