Q & A How to Choose the Right Home for You?

q and a

How to Choose The Right Home?

QUESTION

Looking through the newspapers and the internet there seem to be so many homes to choose from.
How do I know which is the right one for me?

ANSWER

You don’t want to mess around on a decision as big as the place you’re going to call home. When you buy a house, you’re making a long-term commitment to that house and everything that comes along with owning a home.

How do you know when you’ve found a place that’s commitment-worthy? Sometimes, a place will feel like home the moment you pull up to the curb. More likely, though, it’ll take some time for you to find something you like, with the process perhaps becoming more and more frustrating with each “not quite right” house you view.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do and tips to keep in mind that can make the process a little smoother.

Figure Out Your Priorities

Starting your search online allows you to see all the available homes in your area and narrow down your search to homes you’re truly interested in, saving you the time of having to tour each one in person.

There are many resources and websites that allow you to search for real estate listings in your area. The most helpful sites will be the ones that allow you to narrow down your search by your own criteria.

Searching for your ideal home easy, allowing you to filter by size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, price range, and more.
You can also save your searches so you don’t have to keep resetting your filters, and you can choose to receive search alerts so that you’re notified as soon as homes that match your criteria hit the market.

Consider Old vs. New

Do you see yourself in a beautiful older home or a more modern, chic abode? There are pros and cons to each, depending on what you’re looking for and your lifestyle.

You may have to funnel more money into maintenance and renovation with an older home, which may have outdated and inefficient heating, cooling, and plumbing systems.

If a home is considered historic, you’ll be subject to any national and local guidelines for historic homes, such as not being able to make any additions to the home without approval from your local historical office.

Older homes can be good for people who want to be located in a well-established community that’s close to shopping and restaurants. They sometimes have better quality construction than more recently built homes.

On the other hand, newer homes tend to require less work, stress, and money to get them into shape. This is not only true right when you move in, but likely in the years to follow as well, as more recently built homes generally require less maintenance and fewer repairs.

New homes are also more likely to come with updated technology built-in, such as alarm systems, cable or smart thermostats.

However, the asking price for a newer home will likely be higher than for older homes of the same size. Newer neighborhoods are also often farther away from schools, shops, restaurants, and other amenities than older neighborhoods. And if you’ve always dreamed of having a big backyard, you might be out of luck, as newer homes tend to be built on smaller lots.

Look at how well maintained the property you’re looking at is, whether it’s an old home or a more modern one. Think about any renovations you would have to make if you were to purchase it. Consider the actual cost of maintaining an older home, not just the asking price.

Be Realistic

The house you end up with, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer, probably isn’t going to be your dream house.

It’s imperative that you end up with a house you’re going to be happy living in, but you might also have to adjust your expectations if the home you want isn’t one you can afford.

For people who are new to the housing market or have smaller budgets, a starter home may be a more realistic and advantageous choice. Starter homes aren’t great if you need a lot of space, as they’re often fairly small, but they tend to be more budget-friendly. You also won’t need to spend as much money filling it up with furnishings, and you’ll likely have smaller utility bills when compared to larger homes.

It helps to know your budget from the get-go. While you may be itching to start house hunting and comparing kitchen backsplashes, you should first get approved for a loan so you know what price range you’ll be looking at. This will help narrow down your choices and make the process a little less overwhelming, and it will make you look more serious in the eyes of the seller, which can only help your chances if you decide to make an offer.

You also want to make sure you’re thinking about your future finances. Even though a house on the more expensive end of your price range might seem worth it, take the time to think about whether you’ll still feel that way when you’re making the monthly payments.

Find out what the area’s property taxes are and going to be moving forward. Many states have websites that help you calculate this. If you can, ask what the seller typically spends on utilities.

Keep in mind that homeownership very often comes with a menagerie of unexpected costs, some of them significant. If you spend all your money upfront on a large down payment, you may run into trouble down the line when your new house suddenly needs an emergency repair.

Make Sure It Checks Off Some Essential Boxes

Before you start picturing yourself hanging out in the spacious living room or grilling out on the back porch, there are a few crucial tests your prospective new home should pass before you even consider purchasing it.

  • Check out the vital components: Take a look at anything that would be costly if it needed to be repaired or replaced. Examine the roof and check for any signs of damage or disrepair. Make sure the windows open easily and are in good condition. Find out what state the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is in.
  • Look at the plumbing: Look under sinks and behind toilets for signs of water damage or leaks. Be on the lookout for telltale discoloration of ceilings and walls as well. Check the basement for a mildew smell.
  • Do research on the area: Is the pond behind the house prone to flooding? Is it a safe area? How far away would you be from the nearest hospital? Go online and figure out the vital stuff like the area’s safety rating, as well as the fun stuff like what restaurants are nearby and where the closest gym is. RocketHomes.com aggregates all this information for each house you look at, so all the information you need is in one convenient location.
  • Test everything:

What do you like and need?

So, give some thought as to what type of home you require and where you would like to live. It may be a brand new house in a new area that appeals to you because of the kind of people, young families perhaps, who will be living there. Maybe you would prefer an established house, an older style home, or a property with acreage.

Importantly, you must consider not only what looks attractive, but what will suit the size of your family now and in the near future.

Make a list of your priorities.

Do you need to be near public transport?
Are there schools in the area that meet your needs?
How will you get to work and what cost will be involved?
If there is limited public transport will you require an extra car?
If you are a one-car family, are shops in close proximity?
Access to the home may be an important issue either now or in the future. You don’t want a major expedition every time you run out of milk!
Is the garden relatively maintenance free?
If you don’t enjoy the garden you may wish to consider an apartment or a townhouse.
When you have decided what you are looking for, the number of advertisements and properties won’t be so daunting.

List your Final Selection Criteria

Select those that appear to offer the criteria of your requirements and attend open for inspections or make an appointment with a good estate agent.

Don’t be tempted to slide outside your budget and what housing expenses it can reasonably accommodate. Check out the schools if you have children, and consider how long it’s going to take you to commute to work. Will that grow old if the house is some distance from your place of employment?
A home is a long-term decision. Be passionate…but treat it like one.

Happy home hunting and if you wish to view some homes that we are offering, please do not hesitate to contact me personally.

Also check out……Choose the right agent

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Paul Basso

Author Paul Basso

Established in 2000, First National Basso is a business based on transparency, honesty, personal service and trust. With a commitment to innovation, First National Basso has continually evolved and grown to become one of the longest running and most trusted real estate teams on the Mornington Peninsula.

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