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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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