7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before You Buy a House
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments that you will undertake in your lifetime. Hence, it should be done with a lot of prudence and patience so that you buy a home that suits your present, as well as future, needs. It is easy to rush the buying decision, as you want to grab the house before another buyer does. But as they say, haste makes waste, so consider the factors mentioned below and then make your decision.
1. Do You Really Want to Own a House?
Do not let parents, your spouse, other family members or friends force you into buying a house. If you are uncertain about being a homeowner, you should not go ahead with the investment. Take your time to make the decision. When you feel that you are ready, you will be in a better frame of mind to look for a house that suits your needs and fits your budget.
2. Can I Afford This Particular House?
Now that you are ready to take the big step, you have been looking around and have found your dream house. Before you rush to sign on the dotted line, take a step back and consider whether you can afford the house. Buying a house is not just about spending money on buying four brick walls. You also have to spend money on furniture, painting the house, replacing tiles, replacing appliances and fixture, doing major and minor renovations and spending money on landscaping. Then there are costs you need to think about - closing costs, getting the utilities reconnected, moving costs and costs that you will incur in the upkeep of the house. Look at the whole financial picture before you make your decision. If you can afford it, go right ahead. Otherwise, wait a few more years.
3. What Would Be the Ideal Location of the House?
In real estate, location is everything. So, even if you find a home that is perfect for your needs and just the right price, take a close look at the location. Is the house worth it if you have to commute long hours to work? Is the house far from friends and family? What about traffic in the area - is it a busy street or a quiet one? Are recreation and shopping facilities close by? If you are ready to sacrifice any of these things, go ahead and make the purchase. If you are uncomfortable, reconsider your decision.
4. Will I be Able to Afford the House Maintenance?
You will have to maintain the house and the land around it. Mowing, shoveling snow from the curb, cleaning window panes, ensuring pipes don't freeze in winter, polishing wood floors and other general maintenance are all part of the package. Think carefully about whether you will be able to maintain the house and property. Time and money are required to do this maintenance. You should be prepared.
5. Will This be Mine Long-Term?
When you buy your first home, you need to be pragmatic about it. You need to consider whether you will be spending the rest of your life in the house or selling it after a few years. If you intend to sell, you should take into account the resale value of the house. You can increase the value by doing a few repairs and upgrades and this will help you sell it for a higher price than what you paid for it. The key is to make the purchase work for you and your future plans.
6. Will I Need to Make Major Repairs?
If you are buying a house cheap, make sure you get it thoroughly inspected. While most owners will do minor and cosmetic repairs, major repairs can suck you dry. These are not the type of do it yourself repairs with easy instructions, these repairs could require contractors or experts. While the repairs are going on, you would have to make alternative arrangements to stay. This will add to your financial burden. Think twice about buying a house that requires major renovations and repairs.
7. What Are My Needs - Present and Future?
Check the size of the house carefully. See whether it suits your needs. If you live alone, you definitely do not need a huge house. So there is no point looking at houses built for large families. At the same time, you may decide to start a family in the future or entertain guests regularly. This will cause you to need more space. The idea is to make sure that the house can cater to your present as well as future needs. If you have a pet, the house should be able to cater to the pet too. It should have adequate space for your pet to play and be free.
Buying a house is a big decision and you should weigh the options carefully. This will allow you to buy a house that suits your needs and also ensure that you are adequately prepared to be a responsible homeowner.