Every home buyer’s journey is different depending on what you’re looking for and to what extent you’re willing to make compromises. Before you embark on your real-life edition of House Hunters, it’s important to learn what you need to look for in a property that’s going to be a good fit for your lifestyle. Read on for some expert advice.
Is it the location ideal?
Your new home may be close to the job you have now, but today’s workforce is more mobile. Is this home reasonably close to other places you could be working at in the future? If you work from home, does the area have the infrastructure that your lifestyle calls for like business services, coffee shops, and so on? You also need to factor in virtually anything else that’s critical to your lifestyle like proximity to public transit, major highways, schools, and other amenities.
You can change many things about your home after you get settled in. But you can’t change where it is, and it’s harder to get up and move when you own it.
Does the home make sense for your lifestyle?
If you don’t plan on starting a family, do you really need a three-bedroom house if you don’t need more extra space than a home office? Is a huge garden feasible if your house plants constantly die of neglect? Don’t commit to homes that are more “aspirational” than practical. You can wind up paying exponentially more for the following:
- Maintenance and landscaping
- Property taxes
Are major repairs and/or upgrades needed?
If you’re a first-time home buyer who isn’t very handy, you’ll want a home that’s in move-in ready condition. You’re not going to want a home that needs tens of thousands of dollars of repairs where you need to stay on top of hiring tradesmen and managing these renovations. But if you are in a skilled trade or come from a background of working with fixer-uppers, you’ll have a better feel for the actual costs and timelines of renovations and may not need to factor this as heavily into your decision.
Things like electrical wiring, piping, and ducts are also important considerations depending on your appliance, heating, and cooling needs. If you want the convenience of a dishwasher, you’re probably not going to want a Victorian home with vintage cabinets that would have to be destroyed.
Many aspects of your home can be changed over time, but the location and main structure of the property can’t. Look out for these crucial deal breakers before you arrange that home inspection!