When it comes to basketball, we only have 64 teams to narrow down into our Final Four to fill our brackets. When it comes to buying our first home, we have thousands of options and dozens of choices to consider, but at the end of the day, there are a core list of things that all new homeowners need to seriously contemplate prior to signing on the bottom line:
Once you’ve bought your new home it’s too late to really consider if you can afford it. With a house, the bottom line of the sales contract is not the bottom line of expenses. In addition to principle, interest, taxes and mortgage insurance, you’ll need homeowner’s insurance (not the same as mortgage insurance, which only insures the bank, not you), landscaping (or, if you’re doing it yourself you’ll need all of the necessary equipment), deposits on utilities, additional travel expenses if you’re further away from your workplace and money to set aside for regular maintenance as well as the ‘unexpected’ expenses that may arise. If you’re planning on making any home improvements, you’ll need to set aside money for that too. So, when you’re planning on purchasing a home, don’t forget to add in all the other costs associated with living in it once you get it.
Buying any home, whether it be an existing one, or custom new construction, introduces a host of options such as number of bedrooms and baths, garage space, appliances, flooring, curb appeal, amenaties, and so on. It’s vitaly important that you first and foremost, take into consideration how you and your family use and live in a space to ensure that you don’t end up with a house that is beautiful inside and out, but just doesn’t fit your living style.
In fact, you’ll find lots of stories about people that bought new homes only to find out that their current furniture didn’t fit. Talk about a new expense! But when you can see your furniture in the room, and start making decisions about where to place items before you’ve even made an offer, you’re probably on the right track.
If you don’t travel to and from your potential new home during rush hours, weekends and other potential traffic times, you won’t know how accessible it will be for you and your family. A lovely home that your family enjoys while you commute two hours each way to work is probably not the perfect choice for you. Additionally, you’ll want to consider how long you plan to live in the home and what stage of life you currently are in as well as the probable stage of life you’ll be in when you may move again.
Living out of town can seem like a dream (and for many people it is a perfect location), but if you like to go out in the evenings or walk over to meet friends at a nearby hotspot, you’ll find it difficult living a distance from your local haunts.
As your real estate professional, I can help you find the perfect home that speak to all aspects of your lifestyle. I’ll help you think through which homes fit best in your final four.