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8 Things to Consider When Buying a New Home

8 Things to Consider When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is one of the most daunting experiences; yet it is one of the biggest milestones in life. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by this huge life decision and substantial financial investment. It is a significant commitment and requires careful planning and cautious choices. Planning is vital to the process, and while it will help you set your boundaries, it will also show you where you need to be flexible as you wade through the market.

Once you have made up your mind about the boxes that a potential property needs to tick, you can determine on which matters you are willing to be more flexible, and narrow down your options. If you do your homework, you can avoid the pitfalls and empower yourself for a successful and prosperous purchase.

1. Price

Your new property is going to have to fit into your budget. This is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a new home. How much are you willing and able to spend? What is your absolute ceiling?

Don’t waste your time looking at properties that you can’t afford because realistically you won’t be able to compete with other buyers and will leave yourself short, considering all the other expenses you need to cover including lawyers and realtors’ fees, repayments, rates, strata, living expenses, bills, and ongoing costs. You need to take into consideration if you will have funds leftover for possible renovations, furnishings and other improvements.

You also need to factor in the cost of moving including movers, packing, and cleaning, storage, redirecting mail and rubbish removal. If you are borrowing from a lending institution, you need to make sure you are covered if interest rates increase unexpectedly.

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2. Location

You need to decide where you want to live. It sounds easy enough, but there are a number of things to consider. You may want to ensure that you live close to where you work, where your children will go to school, where your family and friends reside, and where you go for shopping and leisure.

You may not decide to live in the same suburb as these needs, but then you should consider your travel and commuting to places that your life revolves around. Location is extremely important, as it will determine your quality of life for possibly years to come. You should consider if the area is familiar to you or if you will embark on a whole new lifestyle. When looking at properties in the area of your choice, consider the neighborhood carefully. You may want to introduce yourself to the neighbors or just observe the comings and goings of the street.

Think about the property’s proximity to main roads and be aware of the flow of traffic. Take stock of the surrounding area and the possibility of noise and activity. Are there stadiums or public arenas nearby? Or perhaps busy pubs and clubs? Is public transport readily available and is the town under any flight paths?

You may be looking for a vibrant and fast-paced environment or a quiet and secluded lifestyle. Whatever your preference, make sure that the dwellings you look at meet your needs.

3. Size

When buying a new home, you need to think about the size of the dwelling you require. How many bedrooms are you after? Do you need a big kitchen and bathroom(s)? What about living areas? Are you the kind of person who likes to entertain, or do you prefer to eat out?

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Do you need a yard or balcony and are you prepared to put in the maintenance required should you have a large outdoor space? Are you considering a swimming pool or perhaps you require storage and a garage? Is there room to renovate and do you need approval?

You may look for a dwelling that has the potential for a granny flat, extra bedrooms or living areas and can you expand the kitchen or bathrooms later on? These are all very important questions and rely on you having the capacity to think a little bit ahead.

A new property needn’t have everything you need immediately if you can see potential to invest in expanding it later on, and the property can accommodate that. The size of a dwelling also largely depends on how many people are going to reside there.

Are you single? A couple? Do you have children or pets? Will you want to accommodate extended family or friends? Do you want the potential to house boarders and earn an income? Do you need room for many belongings or are you a minimalist?

4. Upsizing or downsizing

Buying a new home often means you are needing more or less space. Whether you are moving in order to expand or to reduce your living space, you need to consider if you have to get rid of things or buy more. Both scenarios require planning and foresight in order to make the transition as seamless and stress free as possible. Are you living with more people, expanding your family, or will you need room for guests? Or are you going it alone?

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5. Timing

Timing is everything when you are buying a new home. You need to figure out how much time you have to complete the process and whether or not you are on a time restriction or not. You may be selling and buying simultaneously or ending a lease, in which case you need to ensure that exchanging the keys for both your old and new home happen around the same time.

Financially when you are buying and selling at the same time, you need to consider whether or not you need a bridging loan, which will cover you if you purchase a new dwelling and need more time to sell the old property. It’s all a negotiation between yourself and the other parties involved and communication is imperative. Reading the fine print of any agreement or contract is also vital and it’s helpful to have excellent and experienced legal representation to assist and advise you.

6. Viewing

One of the most tiresome activities that you must endure when buying a new home is going along to open houses to view properties that are for sale. However it doesn’t have to be something you suffer through. It can actually be pretty exciting and enjoyable. You have to narrow down the properties that fit the majority of your requirements and remind yourself that it is impossible to see everything.

If there are clashes with scheduled viewings of properties that you are keen to see, you just need to prioritize and see the most suitable first. Properties will often be open for viewing on more than one occasion so it isn’t too difficult to see all the dwellings you are keen on.

You also have the option to arrange a private viewing at a time that is more suitable to you, and most selling agents are very accommodating. They want more people to see the property to increase the likelihood of it selling at a good price. They want you there and are more than happy to stay a little later or meet you at a different time.

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If you are buying a property off the plan or you plan on building, you need to be careful about what you imagine a property will look like once it is finished and the reality. The positive side is that you can carefully tailor a dwelling to your requirements and correct or change things as you go.

The negative is that sometimes the end result isn’t exactly as you envisaged and changes will incur further costs. It really depends on you having a strong relationship with your architects and engineers, particularly if the dwelling is free-standing.

You may have less control and input if the place is a part of a larger complex, like in the case of a unit or town house. You will need to ensure you or your legal representatives are in good communication with the builders and developers.

7. Purpose

The purpose of your purchase will determine many of your decisions. Will you be an owner occupier? Are you flipping it—buying something you will renovate and improve in order to sell it on for a profit? Will you purchase the property and then lease it out? Whatever your purpose, the type and condition of the dwelling you buy and how much work you are prepared to do to improve it will only be successful if you keep your intentions in mind and buy accordingly.

8. Permanency

Is it a forever home or a transitional one? If you are looking for a home you will commit to for years to come, the process may take longer to find the perfect fit. After all, it is not a decision to be taken lightly and you may have to face a few let downs and disappointments until all your conditions are met. If it is a temporary arrangement or an investment, you may have room for more flexibility and may be looking at something that is good enough as opposed to perfect.

Featured photo credit: Jennifer C. via flickr.com

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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