For several years, you have dreamed of buying a house. You probably have pictured that dainty front yard and a nice landscape. Despite being introduced to a lot of amazing homes, it seems that you still have not yet found the right one – one that fits your needs and preferences.
You may have also wondered what to look for when buying a house. The thing is, what is important when buying a house could be tough to determine. This is because there are many variables involved. This includes the actual price, location, age of the house, condition, size, layout, nearby school districts and several others. When facing trade-offs, how can you make a wise decision?
Identify Your Needs
First and foremost, it is very important to identify your needs first, and that of your family. This involves identifying the lifestyle and core values that are of priority to you. Are you one who prefers a rural, quiet country type of living, or a hyperlocal, walkable, and highly eco-friendly urban person? You may even be a homeowner who wants a low-maintenance home that is conducive for a busy lifestyle.
As a tip, you can imagine your current lifestyle, and your lifestyle for the next decade or so. This can be used as a basis for selecting the features that you would like to have in your home. How about your day-to-day routine regarding running errands and commuting? What are your usual schedules during the holidays and weekends?
- Bedroom Needs
How many bedrooms do you need now, and within the next ten years? Are there any plans to expand your family? Identifying your bedroom needs may also include determining if there is a room that may contain a closet or one that features some fire safety enclosures. You may also want an extra room that can be used other than serving as a bedroom.
- Bathroom Needs
This includes identifying the number of bathrooms that you would like to have in your home, as well as their locations. If you love hosting dinner parties, a guest bathroom may be strategically located near both dining and living areas. If you have children, multiple bedrooms with bathrooms are preferable. Note that bathrooms can boost the value of your home, which means that if you plan to sell your house sometime in the future, you can still expect a good return.
- Utilities and Efficiency
Take into consideration the monthly budget that you can allocate for paying utilities. You may want to request your real estate agent to ask the home seller for the copies of all utility bills during the past 12 months. These may also be accessed through online records. These bills can provide you with an idea of the expenses involved, such as with the heating and cooling of the home.
Certain features of a home may also have an impact on these expenses, and as such, improving the efficiency of a home. For example, having new windows, low ceilings, or a smaller footprint can keep the heating and cooling bills to a minimum. On the other hand, having high vaulted ceilings, along with a larger footprint may significantly cost more in your bills.
Imagine Your Dream Yard
Aside from your actual home, it is also best to imagine your dream yard. Here are some factors that you can also take into consideration.
- Size of the Yard
Would you prefer a yard with a maximized space or a minimized one to lower your maintenance? A huge, fenced lot can provide you a good amount of space where your children can play, allow your pets to run around, or even install some features such as a swimming pool in the future. On the other hand, having a smaller lot is easier to manage and less expensive.
If you are planning on landscaping or gardening, make sure that the condition of the yard’s lighting fit your plans. For example, if you are planning to plant tomatoes, you may require an abundant amount of sunlight. On the other hand, plants like mint, survive well in part-sun or shady conditions. This means that your decision may depend on the plants that you are hoping to grow.
You might want to see other features for your home. Would you like to have a patio, deck, jacuzzi, swimming pool, built-in grill or cooktop, as well as other outdoor facilities? No doubt, these features can make living in your home more enjoyable, though there is also a tendency that they may need a significant level of maintenance and upkeep. Hot tubs and pools require cleaning and maintenance. Patios and decks also have to be re-sealed.
These amenities may include your needs within the neighborhood. For example, take into consideration your school district needs. You may have a good elementary school nearby, but a high school that is subpar. Other amenities include parks, libraries, groceries, pools, and retailers.
Walkability is another thing that should be given consideration. You may want good walking potential. If so, you may want to take a look at the neighborhood’s sidewalks, bicycle paths or walking paths. You may also want to see whether those walking paths connect your house to other places that you would visit frequently.
Be Realistic with Your Choices
Other factors that you need to take into consideration include the amount of repair and maintenance that would go into your house. You will definitely need to weigh a lot of different factors, which includes the home’s age, location, size, condition price, and features. When purchasing a home, weighing all of these factors is very important. Looking not just into your current needs, but that of the next ten years perhaps will help you make realistic choices.
Select a few must-haves which may represent some of the most important aspects of your lifestyle, including commute time. Stay flexible with the options, even accepting some trade-offs. The most important thing is not compromising on your main criteria.