Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a repeat buyer, making the decision to move your family to a new home is a big one. You should feel both emotionally and financially comfortable with your choice. Here are a few tips that will help you with making this huge decision.
Neighborhood vs. Amenities
According to Realtor.com, some people have their heart set on a specific neighborhood while others care more about the home’s amenities. Figure out which one is your priority. While it’s possible that you could find your dream home in the perfect neighborhood, it’s more likely that you’ll have to favor one over the other.
If you want to profile your ideal neighborhood, HGTV suggests asking yourself the following questions:
• Am I planning to have children any time soon?
• What type of home do I want?
• How far am I willing to commute every morning?
• Do I want to be in a historic neighborhood or a newer development?
• What is my current neighborhood lacking?
• Do I want to be able to travel to places on foot or by bike?
Set a Budget
One of the first things you should do when picking a new home is take out your calculator. Your budget is going to be a major influence on your decision. Your dream home will turn into a nightmare if you can’t actually afford it. Look past the listing price, too. For example, if the home has vaulted ceilings, you’ll need to factor in extra money for heating costs. If the property has a pool, consider how much it will cost to maintain it.
Make sure that you can see yourself living in the home for the next seven year. Purchasing a home and moving takes a ton of time and effort. Costs can quickly add up. It’s important to stay in one place for the next few years, especially if you need to ride out a bad market. Never buy a home that you’re planning on moving out of in a year or two. On the same note, make sure that your home will be able to adapt to your needs as your life changes. If you’re going to be working from home, you’ll need space for an office. If you’re planning on having children, you’ll need an extra bedroom and a backyard. It’s best to choose a home that has rooms that are multi-functional. For example, if the kitchen overlooks the family room, that’ll be helpful when you have little ones running around.
Lastly, it’s important to trust your intuition. Even if the home has everything you want on paper, it still has to feel right. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have everything you want on paper, but it just feels perfect, maybe you can be flexible with your list of must-haves. Either way, trust your gut when you first walk into a home.