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Five Things to Consider When Looking to Buy a House

By Jamie Richardson | January 25, 2021

Buying a house is a major milestone in one’s life. It is also a massive financial commitment, so you don’t want to rush the process or neglect important aspects that will make you feel serious regrets later on. But how to find the perfect house for you? Each house buyer has a list of personal priorities. Some value the practicality of the floor layouts. Others value the look of the house or the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Finding a house with all the features you prioritize can be difficult. 

Here are five things to consider when looking to buy a house, so you can make the best possible choice. 

  1. What Are Your Current and Long-Term Needs? 

Each person or family has different needs. For example, if you’re single with no children you don’t need a lot of space right now, but maybe you plan to have a family in the next couple of years so your needs will change. If you have a child, maybe you’ll want a second or third child in a few years, so you may need extra bedrooms. For people who work from home, an extra room for a home office is a priority. But for people who commute daily, the location might be the main factor when choosing a house. In a similar vein, maybe you like cooking so you need a large kitchen, or you love gardening and want an outdoor space for plants and vegetation. Make a list of your needs and priorities to know exactly what you should look for when viewing a house. 

  1. What Type of Location Matches Your Lifestyle? 

Along with the price, location is the most important thing to consider when purchasing a house. But what represents a perfect location for someone can seem unattractive to someone else, so don’t feel that you have to choose a location only because it’s popular. If you value walkability and have an active, vibrant social lifestyle, then a central location is a natural choice. Be aware however of negative aspects such as possible pollution and noise. 

If you want to avoid busy, central locations, make sure you stay at least in reasonable proximity to shopping centers, services, great schools, and parks. Another key aspect to consider is whether the house is in a safe neighborhood. Feeling safe and secure in your own home will determine your quality of life.  

  1. What Amenities Are Essential to You? 

Depending on your budget, you may have to decide which amenities are essential to you and which would be nice to have but are definitely not a priority. Determine a preferred number of bedrooms and bathrooms according to your and your family’s needs. Do you consider private outdoor space a must-have or are you fine just with having quick access to a neighborhood park? 

Because you want your house to stand the test of time, consider amenities that come with smart homes and that can make life easier for you. For example, when looking at homes for sale, concepts such as high-performance, energy efficiency, and home automation technology cannot leave you indifferent. So, buy a house that can offer more than space, and which can remain appealing for many years to come. 

  1. What’s the Right Price to Pay? 

Although it may take some time, finding the perfect house for you will eventually happen. But what do you do when you find out that the price is higher than what you can afford to pay? Regardless of your plans and wishes, your budget will be the ultimate factor when deciding what you can or cannot buy. Set your budget before looking at listings, so you only see houses within your price range. This way you’ll avoid the disappointment of having to ignore a perfect house because it’s not financially feasible. 

Many people go over their initial budget when they realize that they’ve found the house of their dreams and that extending their search is unproductive, but make sure that such a scenario is possible for you. How much can you go over your budget? Establish a percentage you’d feel safe considering. Finding a house within your price range is important because you’ll have additional expenses to think about such as monthly maintenance fees and utilities. You may also incur expenses due to repairs or vital upgrades. 

  1. How Much Do I Want to Personalize the House? 

Buying a move-in ready home can be a relief if you don’t already have furniture and appliances, nor do you have the time or energy for shopping. And it makes perfect sense financially too because you won’t have to worry about significant repairs or upgrades for a long time after moving in. However, some people care less about convenience and more about being able to add a personal touch to the space where they intend to live. 

A house becomes a home when it reflects your taste, identity, and lifestyle. Before buying a house, decide how much you care about this aspect. Do you want to add your favorite furniture pieces or hire your favorite interior designer? Then steer clear of homes that are already perfectly set up for buyers to move in.  Do you want to paint the walls or make structural changes to fit a personal vision? In this case, buy a cheaper home and renovate it according to your taste. Houses that need major renovation are significantly cheaper, and buying such a house is the perfect excuse to implement all your design ideas. You’ll be able to make personal decisions about every aspect of your future home.  

A house is an expensive purchase, so give yourself plenty of time to research your options thoroughly. You want a house that you’ll also love in five or ten years.  So, use the tips above to make sure your decision is based on thorough, practical considerations. Identify your needs, determine your budget, and start visiting houses for sale that match your criteria. Last but not least, be ready to ignore minor imperfections and focus on what matters most.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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