One of the biggest purchases many of us will make, buying a home can be a daunting task. It’s one of those things that you want to make sure you do right, otherwise, the mistakes you make can be costly –literally and figuratively.
By now, you’ve probably given some thought to what your dream home should look like. If you’re like most people, you’re looking for a home you can settle and grow old in. That being said, the real estate purchase you make needs to fit in with your needs and the needs of your family, keeping you happy for the long-term. While most people know their dream home when they see it, it pays to know what things to factor in when making that big of a purchase. To make the home buying process run smoothly, here’s a list of five different things you need to consider.
Tackle the finances
First things first, you want to make sure that you have enough money to finance this decision of a lifetime. Generally speaking, you should be aiming for a house that is four or five times your annual income, given you’re debt-free. You want to avoid taking on a mortgage that’s too large for you to pay off comfortably. Before making a decision, consider the 28/36 rule and see if you stick to it. Your credit score will also have a significant impact on your loan choices and interest rates, so make sure you’ve got good credit, too. Keeping your finances in order is even more important in case you are buying a foreclosed house. This process can move so fast and you’d want to be prepared to make a deal as soon as possible.
Do your pre-house buying homework
When purchasing a house, you want to do some thorough research on the topic before you sign your name on the dotted line. First, you need to decide on the style of the house you’re looking for. Be it a townhouse, a ranch, a contemporary loft or a cozy suburban home, make sure your dream home fits your lifestyle.
Secondly, consider the house’s proximity to places you often go to. Check out nearby places, look up crime rates, and see what your transport options are. Go to online real estate listings and browse for images. Better yet, hop in the car if it’s a place nearby to get the feel of what the neighborhood is like. If there’s an open house, check it out and ask as many questions as your pre-house buying homework.
Look beyond the purchase price
More often than not, home buyers will foresee the costs of owning a house just because it matches many of their requirements. However, a home’s price is just a tiny piece of a much larger puzzle. Instead of fixating on the purchase price, factor in the additional costs of running the household – think upkeep, heating/cooling, insurance, taxes, and fees. After figuring out what are the ownership costs, you’ll know whether or not you can afford the house.
Decide where to move (and know your reasons)
Is it a job opportunity? Is it the climate? Or is it simply a need for change you’re looking for? Whichever your reasons, they’ll largely affect your purchase. With some countries, you don’t have to choose. Take Australia as an example.
A country of eight climate zones, Australia brings many different opportunities to its residents, and it definitely has something for everyone. Located in the South Western Sydney, Austral is one of the Australian suburbs that’s on the rise, with many new residents opting for house and land packages in Austral in hope of finding their dream homes in an up-and-coming neighborhood. With a number of beautiful houses to choose from, it’s no wonder why Austral properties are said to make great real estate investments. So, if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city without sacrificing the convenience that comes with it, this is something you should definitely consider.
Most importantly – plan for the future
When you’re buying a house, you want to think in advance and plan for the future. Maybe you’re single or a couple with no kids at the moment. Maybe you’ve got one or two children and don’t plan on any additional family members in the next couple of years. Or maybe you’re more career-focused and don’t necessarily see yourself with children in the foreseeable future.
Whatever your current life situation may be, you need to understand that things change, and people change, and the direction in which you’re thinking today may not be the way you’ll be thinking in a year, or two, or five. Ideally, you should get a house that gives you room to grow and that will grow together with you. If you’re planning on staying for at least five years in the house you’re buying, make sure it can adjust should there be any major life changes.
Whether you are looking for a modern dwelling in an urban area or a white picket fenced family home in the quiet suburbs, having a roadmap is crucial for finding your dream home. That being said, purchasing a home you’re absolutely in love with is an exciting adventure regardless of whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or home mover.
With thorough research, real estate know-how, and these five tips in mind, the path towards finding your dream home should be quick and easy. Do everything right, and soon enough you will be able to make your dream home a reality.