Reading Time:  3  minutes

Buying a home is a significant decision, and it’s essential to consider various factors. By focusing on the following three key aspects, you can simplify the process and find the perfect home for you and your family.

1. Location

The location of your home is crucial. Consider factors like the neighborhood, schools, proximity to work and other amenities that matter to you. Living in the right location can greatly enhance your overall experience and quality of life. For instance, being close to other families with young children or near their friends can be beneficial if you have kids. Similarly, living near your church allows for easier involvement and service. If you enjoy being active, proximity to parks and recreation facilities is important. Evaluate how the home’s location aligns with your lifestyle.

When assessing the location, think about the future. If you plan to start a family, ensure the neighborhood is family-friendly. If you aim to establish a business, verify the location is conducive to business growth. And if you plan to retire, confirm the area is retirement-friendly.

2. Affordability

It’s crucial to determine if your monthly mortgage payment fits within your budget. Consider additional costs associated with homeownership such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Many people qualify for more than they can realistically afford, so it’s important to be honest about your budget and not overextend yourself. Consider how this new housing expense will impact your overall financial situation and future spending.

For younger and first-time homebuyers, it’s wise to understand that purchasing your “dream home” as your first home may not be practical. Building a career and finances takes time, and starting with a home you can afford allows you to build equity. As you accumulate equity, you can eventually move toward your “dream home.”

3. The floorplan or bones of the house

The floorplan of a home determines how you use the space, so it’s crucial to ensure it suits your family’s needs. Additionally, consider the condition of the home’s structural elements, known as the “bones” including the roof, foundation, and HVAC system. Don’t focus solely on superficial aspects like paint, carpet, or tile. These can be easily changed and shouldn’t deter you from a potential house. Instead, concentrate on the size, walls, and overall bones of the house. Look beyond the current state and envision the possibilities. By focusing on the layout and structure, you can ensure the purchased home aligns with your goals.

Pro Tip: When visiting properties, be mindful of what you say about the house. Many homes have recording devices like ring doorbells, so waiting to discuss your likes and dislikes until after the visit can give you more negotiating leverage during the buying process.

Additional Tips:

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting to understand your affordability
  2. Research the neighborhoods you’re interested in, visiting them at different times of the day to gauge traffic and noise levels
  3. Understand all the resources available to make your purchase more affordable.

By following these tips and focusing on these key factors, you can navigate the home buying process with more ease and confidence.