Searching for a family home can be an overwhelming process. There are dozens of factors to consider, some emotional and some practical. The following will explore a few often-overlooked aspects of searching for a home.
Of course, every family is different, and this means that every family has its own set of needs when searching for a home. Be sure to keep in mind your personal situation in addition to the below information.
Figure Out What You Can Afford
When you’re thinking about buying a home, one of the first things you need to do is sit down and figure out what you can comfortably afford. No matter how lovely your home is if you’re struggling to make the payments each month. Being house poor is a horrible situation to get caught in; it’s much better to get a starter home or a next-stage home than your dream home if you’re not financially ready for it. It’s a good idea to enter the home search knowing what your maximum spending capability is so that you don’t get sucked into paying too much for a home due to a charming realtor or stunning countertops.
Don’t forget to factor in closing costs when doing these calculations. Things like home inspections, appraisal fees, credit reports, home insurance, and attorneys can all bump up the cost of buying a home. Don’t let these details throw off your budget.
Finally, you also want to consider the costs of owning the home. This might include things like utilities, upgrades, additions, maintenance, and repairs. Take these into account when looking at what the monthly mortgage payments would be. Ideally, you want your mortgage payment to be no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.
When you’re shopping for a home, it helps to have a few lists with you. The first is a list of your needs; these are your non-negotiables that cannot be sacrificed. Perhaps proximity to workplaces or schools is part of this; maybe you need a certain number of bedrooms or an office seeing as one person in the household works from home. You might need onsite laundry or two bathrooms to meet your family’s morning sanity needs.
After you list of needs, you can compile a list of wants. These are the features that are ideal for you, like counter space, closet size, and other factors. Having them on a separate list from your needs can help ensure that you’re not sacrificing a need for a want.
Finally, you might want to include a list of dream elements. These can help you break ties if you stumble upon them.
A home is an investment, and this means that the value of a home and elements that could impact it should be part of your decision. One of the major factors in a home’s value is its curbside appeal; this refers to how aesthetically pleasing your home is from the roadside. It includes siding, roofing, doors and windows, landscaping, and the driveway, as well as anything else that can be seen from the road, like your mailbox and house numbers. If you find a property that has decent curbside appeal or could, with a few affordable developments.
Income properties have been growing in popularity for some time now. An income property is a property that provides income for the owner. Often this means that there is a unit that you and your family live in plus another unit (or multiple units) that you rent out to others. This can be organized in such a way that your mortgage payment is severely lessened or completely covered. Sometimes there is even cash flow, in addition, to help with the mortgage.
For instance, if you take a look at the multifamily properties for sale in Edmonton, you’ll see that many of them, when full provide far more income than a mortgage would require. Economic security is a tough thing for everyone, but income properties can help diversify your income sources.
Water And Air Quality
One underrated element of home searching is considering how clean the local air and water are. If you’re planning on staying in an area for a while, you’re going to be breathing in a lot of air and coming in contact with a lot of water, and this can have a huge impact on your lifelong health. There are cities where the rates of lung cancer are higher simply because the air is of worse quality.
Proximity To Nature
One thing that can have a big impact on your mental health is how close you are to nature. If there’s a park nearby, you’re far more likely to spend time near trees or running water than if you need to travel a great distance to get some green. This extra time in nature can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
Amount Of Natural Light
Another factor that people don’t often consider when thinking about mental health is the amount of natural light they’re exposed to. Bigger windows or plentiful windows allow you to come in contact with more natural light throughout your days. Study after study has linked natural light to a boosted mood and a heightened immune system. Of course, with more windows, you’re likely looking at increased utility costs as heat and cold can escape through windows more easily than walls.
Expenses can be cut if a home comes with environmentally-friendly features. If your appliances or heating and cooling systems are eco-friendly, you can reduce your long-term expenses, which can help minimize stress and give you more options with your money.
The above information should help you focus your home search efforts. Remind yourself that it’s okay if this process takes time. Far too often, impatience speeds the home-buying process up and results in a family setting for a home that isn’t right for them.
It can be tempting to simply snag what you can get (especially if you’ve put in several offers and gotten no response), but future, you will be happy you held out and kept looking when you’re enjoying your new home.Let the process take as long as it’s going to take; use the extra time to save up a bit more money for the down payment and enjoy a more manageable mortgage.