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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 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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