One in four homeowners have experienced buyer’s remorse. In fact, according to a nationwide survey from Redfin, 25% of over 2,000 American homeowners said that if they could turn back time, they would pass on their current home, and buy a different one. Your home is one of your largest investments. Save yourself the heartbreak of falling out of love with your home by assessing your needs before buying a home. You will be better equipped to take the plunge into homeownership after answering these 8 questions:
#1 – Why is buying a home important to you?
A home is more than just a place to live; it’s about more than square footage. What makes you excited when you start thinking about finding your new home? Write down at least 2 reasons why buying a home is important to you, and revisit them when you get stressed.
Margie Warrell, contributor to Forbes.com, writes: “A clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.” Knowing your ‘why’ will keep you motivated when you get tired or disheartened (like, for example, if you lose your first bid); it will also help you make decisions when you’re overwhelmed or indecisive.
#2 – What is your home’s purpose?
When you are able to map out your home’s function, you can make safer financial decisions. First time home buyers often get super-stressed, believing they have to get everything they want in their first home. Your first home isn’t necessarily your forever home. In real estate, you should have short and long term goals.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Is this a temporary home?
- Do you plan on having children and raising a family in this home?
- Will your parents be living with you?
#3 – Is owning a home better than renting?
Renting has its perks—you invest less money up front; you are free to move to another place when you want to; your landlord handles home repairs and maintenance. However, there are hidden costs in renting versus buying a home. Owning a home gives you financial security, room to grow, space to enjoy, and the freedom to have as many pets (and cars) as you want! Also, the money you would be spending on a month’s rent payment would go into the permanent purchase of a home. Learn 5 reasons why buying a home is better than renting.
#4 – What is your financial situation?
No one has a crystal ball. And despite being unable to see the future, many people successfully buy homes. Do some self-reflection before committing to a purchase of this magnitude.
- If you are employed, how long have you been with your employer
- Will your career require you to relocate?
- How will you pay your mortgage if you lose your job?
Thinking about what the next 5-10 years could look like, and doing a bit of proactive planning will put you in the best financial position possible, no matter what life brings.
#5 – How much time will you dedicate to your home search?
Are you indecisive? Do you procrastinate like it’s your job? We’ve got the cure for you: First, give yourself a deadline to purchase a home. Then, get moving! There seems to be this misconception that you can’t buy the first, second, or third homes you view—but why not? If you find a house that makes you excited and fits your needs and budget, don’t stop yourself from signing. You don’t want to miss your window, and lose your dream home to someone else.
The key to winning your dream home is finding it before anyone else does. Preview hundreds of homes in the Triangle that are not for sale yet, but will be in the next days, weeks, or months.
#6 – How long do you plan on living in your new home?
As a general rule, most real estate agents tell clients not to buy a home unless they plan on living there for 5-7 years. Selling early, in many cases, can cause homeowners to lose money. The first hit comes from the homeowner having to pay some closing costs if and when they sell the house. The second hit is due to the structure of most mortgage loans, which front-load interest.
Looking at your investment on a 5-7 year timeline also means your potential, future housing needs are just as important as your current ones. Do you intend to grow your family? Are you going to get married or divorced? Will you be changing jobs? Consider all of these life milestones before making a purchase.
#7 – When it comes to features, what are your must-haves?
Most people want their homes equipped with the most hip, popular extras: granite countertops; indoor and outdoor fireplaces; smart home devices controlled right from their smartphones; and more. Even though your real estate agent will fight to get you all the home upgrades they can, homes with the latest and greatest upgrades can be expensive!
When your caviar dreams are decisively bigger than your budget, save yourself from disappointment by creating a ‘Top 10 Must Haves to Enjoy My Home’ list. As you build your list, you’ll figure out which home features are most important to you and which home features you’re willing to compromise on. (For example, a 3-car garage would be nice, but a 2-car garage would do just fine!)
#8 – What do you need from your home’s location?
You’ve just decided on what you want and need when buying a home. Now, what do you want from the location? Make sure you map out your work commute before purchasing.
How long do you want to spend commuting to work each day? (Travel expenses really add up, so make sure you have gas expenses in your budget!) Are you near any major highways? Are you commuting through any backroads? Get a feel for how your daily life will shift. Are you a runner? Does the neighborhood have walking trails? Do you love city shopping? Would you like to be closer to public parks or playgrounds? Are you near any major, commercial areas? It is important to take your lifestyle into consideration, not just the number of bedrooms or design style.
There you have it: The Top 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home!
When you’re buying a home, identifying your purpose and your short and long-term goals can be difficult. Evaluating which homes are going to be best for you when you haven’t truly considered what you’d like to have and what you MUST have to be happy is also challenging.
We hope you use this blog article as a guide to start your home search from the most strategic position possible. Agents at the Marti Hampton Team will help you find and win your perfect home; contact us today!