Buying a new home is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting and scary things about adulthood. Before you jump off the diving board and into the deep end, there are a few things you need to consider. These ten crucial questions will help you decide if you’re ready to take the home ownership plunge.
1. How are you paying for it?
You cannot go sailing without a boat. And in the same way, you cannot buy a house without the money. A source of capital is the number one most crucial question to ask yourself. Most people will choose to take on a mortgage.
When you sit down with a banker they can help you determine what’s in your budget and what you qualify for. We recommend you go into this prepared and familiarize yourself with the verbiage. There are a lot of home buying terms that can, quite honestly, be mystifying. Use this home buying term glossary to get yourself one step ahead of the game. Once you have your budget, it’s time to commence house hunting. But, not so fast…
2. What kind of design and layout?
What’s your vision for your new home? Design and layout is an important factor, you’re going to be living in this house every day! You want to be comfortable and happy with how you move from room to room. In terms of design, you can choose anything from traditional Victorian to more modern and edgy looks, or what’s available in your price range.
The best way to familiarize yourself with the available options, is by spending your weekends looking at open houses. This will help you get a better understanding of what’s available and in your price range. Start by making “must have” lists of things you can’t live without. Maybe you want to stay in a specific school district or need a garage for your sports car!
3. Do you want a custom home or a finished home?
Both options have their fair share of pros and cons. With finished, lived-in homes, all you have to do is to make a few changes, if any, and move right in. You have to be more flexible, because you might not be able to check off everything on your dream house checklist.
With a custom home, you get the opportunity to start from scratch and create the home of your dreams. A quality home builder can help you find the right options in your price range.
4. Do you want move-in ready or a fixer upper?
Ask yourself how much work you want to put into your future home. If you are a hands-on type of person who doesn’t mind the occasional DIY project or two, then a fixer upper home is always a great idea. Just make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
It might cost you a little extra in terms of time, effort and finances but the fact that you get to customize the home makes it all worth it. Fixer upper homes require less investment, but more work than a move-in ready home.
If you opt for a move-in ready home, you’ll save yourself the stress and hassle of having to buy all the necessary appliances. Maybe you can’t live without a dishwasher, or an under the counter wine cooler for when you invite your friends over.
5. Where do you want to live?
Do you want a home in a serene and secluded location, or one right in the center of all the action? Answering this question will determine a lot in terms of the types of houses you get to choose from and the costs you will incur. Homes that are within city limits allow you the convenience of most amenities including shops, schools and even hospitals.
However, more often than not you will have to deal with higher home prices and noise from living in town. With homes further outside the city limits, you get to enjoy peace and tranquility but with less access to important social amenities. It all boils down to your preferences and priorities.
6. What are your costs?
When buying a home, most people assume that the home price is the only cost to worry about. This is not always true. You have to consider other costs including property taxes, service charges in gated communities and home owner fees for different associations. In addition to these, it is also always a god idea to factor in repairs and renovations when coming up with a budget for a new home.
7. What’s your timeline and schedule?
How much time are you willing to wait before moving in to your new home? Answering this question is especially important when you are considering buying an empty lot and building or if you are interested in short sales and foreclosure homes. This is because with such choices, you are not always guaranteed immediate ownership and moving in. If you have a lease that is about to expire, you might want to consider faster moving options.
8. What about square footage?
If space is important to you, you need to think about the square footage you wish for your home and the surrounding yards. This is especially important if you have pets or children who need lots of free space to play on.
9. What kind of community are you looking for?
It is also very important to think about the type of community you wish to be a part of when you buy your new home. Gated communities and family oriented neighborhoods tend to provide a sense of community unlike many other neighborhood designs.
10. Do you need a real estate agent?
Finally, you need to think about whether or not you will be soliciting the help of a professional during your house hunting expedition. Working with a realtor is a great idea as they know how and where to find the homes that best meet your expectations and needs. However, it is important to work with someone who is experienced and whose practice is legit.
Whether you are buying your very first condo or you want to upgrade from a bachelor pad to a family home in the suburbs, these ten factors are very important to consider. That way, you can rest assured that you will be getting great value for the money invested and are purchasing home that will make you happy for years to come.
Author Bio- Elizabeth is on the content team for Dynasty Partners, which builds high quality, architecturally rich homes with innovated designs. She enjoys decorating homes, hiking, hanging out with her family, and volunteering at the animal shelter in Des Moines, Iowa.