It’s easy to get overwhelmed when making real estate purchase decisions. After all, buying a home is a significant financial commitment, and there’s a lot to consider and evaluate. It’s easy to jump ahead and start thinking about how many bedrooms you’d like to have or what style of home you’d prefer, but before you get to those choices, be sure to give some thought to these important considerations:
Know how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a down payment and a monthly mortgage, as well as the other expenses that come with homeownership, such as taxes, insurance, utilities, and home improvements. If you’re unsure about what your budget should be, talk to a financial counselor. Getting mortgage pre-approval is also a good idea, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. After you’ve come up with a number or a range, make a commitment to stick to your budget and communicate your price parameters to your real estate professional.
Narrow down the locations where you would consider living before starting your home search. Look at homes in your price range within these locations to find out what you can reasonably expect to get for your money. It’s important to think about whether properties are close to work, schools, recreation, friends, and family.
While a home’s location can be a big factor in determining resale value, there are other factors that can influence whether a home will hold its worth or appreciate. For example, a home’s layout or design can sometimes affect re-sale value, as can the number of bedrooms or the condition of the property. Re-sale values can also be affected by market and economic fluctuations, which can be hard to predict. Ask your real estate professional to provide a list of comparable home sales in the area, as well as the average time that comparable homes are on the market before selling.
Of course, it’s important to find a home that you love in a location that you enjoy. But one important question that homebuyers often overlook is, “Does this home fit my lifestyle?” Even a home that is beautiful, spacious, and affordable may not be right for you if it doesn’t align with your daily life and activities. For example, a home with a small kitchen and dining area may not be feasible if you like to entertain frequently. A property that needs a lot of work probably isn’t a good idea for someone who isn’t handy with tools or who doesn’t enjoy home projects. Evaluate each home with your lifestyle in mind to make sure your purchase is a good fit in the long run.
It’s important to look at each property and consider what the maintenance needs and associated costs will likely be. In addition to expenses, home maintenance can also be time-consuming. When considering a real estate purchase, ask questions about the age of systems and appliances, and whether the seller can provide maintenance records. Remember that home system and appliance repair and replacement costs are an inevitable part of homeownership. HSA Home Warranty coverage can help protect your household budget as well as some of the home’s most critical system components and appliances that can be expensive to repair or replace. An HSA Home Warranty also offers a reliable repair resource to call when covered items malfunction due to normal wear and tear, which can save time and frustration when covered breakdowns occur.
These are just some of the things you need to think about when buying a home. It can be helpful to make a list of all the considerations that are important to you, and then make notes as you tour prospective homes. Your real estate professional can also provide guidance and information to help you make the best decision.