Buying a new home is an investment in your future, but is it right for you right now? There are a few things to consider before taking the real estate plunge. This is a large investment, and it should never be rash. Here are some things to consider:
Location! Location! Location!
Be sure to look into the local school district. If you have children, it goes without saying that the quality of the school is key to your child's educational experience. The school evaluation, however, also includes the quality of the grounds and facilities. This is a major structure in the neighborhood and its condition can affect the surrounding property values. For childless homeowners, the school districts are still a factor. Because the school quality influences home buying decisions, it has a direct effect on resale and property value.
Proximity is not just about schools. Consider how close you need to be from modern conveniences like the grocery store, freeway entrance, the mall or a local watering hole. For prospective homeowners that prefer a rural lifestyle, this might not be important. However, urban and suburban areas have a lot of consumer choices for all markets, and it is a factor.
Purchasing a home is one of the largest decisions that most people make. It was once expected that nearly every individual buy a home, but today, that isn't necessarily financially feasible. Real estate is a long-term investment and your timeline must be considered. If you are moving within a few years, you might want to rent. Although real estate is a great investment, it is not a short-term investment. Having your money tied to property might affect your liquidity when you need to move.
If you are moving into an unfamiliar area, you might not want to buy immediately. Taking the time to look round, gives you the opportunity to learn about neighborhoods and community points of interest that will drive your property decisions.
Running the Well Dry
Most spend every penny to get into a new house, especially first-time buyers, but this is not the best practice. Be sure to have a contingency fund for all of the unexpected costs. Although the home warranty covers most of the house, most operate on a pre-payment reimbursement plan. But warranty aside, other costs will arise. For example, most power companies require a deposit. If you have money set aside in your home fund right from the beginning, you can add to it as you go for post-warranty work.
Loving Your Space
Your new home is more than indoor living. Your surrounding outdoor space will provide hours of entertainment for your friends and family. Landscaping the front yard for curb appeal is important. If you are not the hands-on type, you might want to consider a home with a functional landscape. Regardless, the front yard adds aesthetic value to the home's appeal.
But let's be real, the backyard is where the entertaining happens. If the home you are considering needs more zip, consider installing a pool or hot tub to guarantee hours of family fun. Try looking up some great pool ideas that will fit your backyard. Also, having a barbeque area with dedicated conversation space, a kid play area, or a fun space for the dogs are all things to consider when looking at the perimeter areas of a home.
Visualizing beyond today is also key. If the area has undeveloped or underdeveloped land in the surrounding areas, research the community master plan or land ownership. It would be unfortunate to buy a beautiful home and have an industrial area built too close. This also goes the other way. Taking a risk on an older property with older buildings that are ripe for repurposing might be a smart investment too.
Whatever you decide when looking for your new home, be sure to think about what works for you. This is your investment.