One of the most significant decisions in your life may be whether or not to buy a house. But to add to the stress, you have to consider which home you want to buy. The first house you purchase is rarely the final house in which you will live, but spending a large portion of your savings and income is a notable event in your life. Here are a few things to consider before you purchase your new home-
- Your Career Path- If you are in a field that requires transfers or you hope to pursue an upgrade in your position whether for the company you work for or another that may require relocation then you want to consider that before you purchase. If you plan on moving in three years, then purchasing a home is probably not the best option. Buying a home and then selling it requires a lot of money. There are fees, taxes, and real estate commissions (not to mention the time and stress of selling) that you need to consider. The amount you invest in your home in the first three years including maintenance may not be worth the amount you intend to make when you attempt to sell your house.
- Location- The three most prominent factors in real estate are considered to be Location, Location, Location. This principle is definitely valid both from a financial perspective as well as a quality of life principle. One of my pet peeves is seeing beautiful homes smashed together in tiny lots against other homes. This format is something that is classy and enjoyable in a big city, but not in suburban or rural areas. Look for things that are nearby that you can enjoy and avoid those types of things that will bring down the value of your home. Also, make sure you have a good concept of who your neighbors will be because you will be dealing with them for awhile.
- Investment- It is regularly declared that you should only purchase a house so that the mortgage will be no more than 25% of your income. However, I would like to challenge that and remind you that your home is both a financial investment and a life investment being the place you will want to enjoy daily with your family. So if you can imbue more value into your abode while at the same time purchase something that will be more delightful to live in, then make the investment into a more expensive home rather than investing in other ventures or spending it on Starbucks and restaurants. Pursue a home that has unique features both inside and out. Older homes are great for offering distinctive floor plans and characteristics which are often lost in the cookie cutter homes of today.