Buying a new house is a big event. There’s something about getting those keys that really makes you feel good, whether you’ve bought a house before or this is your first time. No matter how new you might be to the house-buying scene, there are some important things you’ll want to consider when you buy a new house. Here are six of the biggest issues you’ll want to address.
No matter how nice the house is, if the location is bad that’s going to become a problem. For example, you don’t want to move into a neighborhood that has a high crime rate, or one that’s noisy if you value peace and quiet. Don’t like trains? Don’t buy a house right by the railroad tracks. Where you choose your home is generally more important than the home itself, so be mindful of where that home is located. You can change all kinds of things about your house, but you can’t change its location.
You really don’t want to buy a home you can’t afford. Even if the bank will finance a particular amount, that doesn’t mean you can easily make your monthly payments. What if your circumstances change, or you lose your job? It’s better to stay under your maximum budget. Your house might not be as big or as fancy as you could have purchased, but you’ll have more money in the bank, less stress, and more peace of mind.
3. Upsizing or Downsizing
Think about the size of the place you have now, and whether that works for you. If you live in a tiny apartment with your partner and three children, upsizing is definitely in order. If you’re by yourself, though, or there’s just two of you now that the kids are off to college, you may want to downsize.
You can always rent a self-storage unit for some of the things that you don’t want or need in the house, but that you want to keep, donate, or sell at a yard sale later on. Downsizing can save you a lot of money on the price of the house and the utilities, too.
The layout of your house is hard to change, in a lot of cases. You can take out a wall as long as it’s not load-bearing, or rearrange a lot of things, but that all costs time and money. In some cases, it might not be possible to change the layout very much, if at all. With that in mind, choose a house that works for you the way it is, or that you only have to make minor layout changes to. That will help save you money, and make it easier for you to get into your new place and start settling into life there.
What you’re buying the house for matters. If you plan on living there forever you’re probably looking for different things than you would want if you knew you would only be living there for a few years. A lot of people rent when they aren’t going to be permanently in one location, but buying for a few years can also work well if you get a good deal on your home and aren’t strapped for cash when trying to pay for it.
Carefully consider why you’re moving to this location, what you like about it, and your future plans. While things can always change, it’s good to have an idea of how long you plan to be in a house you’re buying.
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to buying a house. If you buy at the top of the market you could find that your house loses a lot of value when the market falls. That could mean that you suddenly owe more than your house is worth, and would have a hard time selling it if you needed or wanted to move.
Buying when the market is low is a better choice, because your house will gain value and equity as the market improves. Then you can sell it later for more than you paid, if you decide that it’s time to move somewhere else.
Featured photo credit: Eduard Militaru via unsplash.com