Buying a new home is both exciting and stressful. There are quite a few details which need to be considered before you sign the contract that commits you to the purchase. A recent study conducted by Redfin provides some interesting and helpful statistics in “Buying the right home in nine easy steps.” This gave us the inspiration to expand on a few of the topics in the ten keys to happiness when buying a new home.
Key#1: Choose the right location
In order to remain truly happy with your new home, you must like the neighborhood that you are living in. It should provide an environment that creates a sense of safety for you and your family. Consider some factors that might influence your happiness including privacy, crime rate, neighboring homes, scenery, distance from work, schools, shopping, medical services or other things that may be important to you. If you love the location, you’ve solved the first key to happiness.
Key #2: Real Estate Agent or on your own?
There are pros and cons associated with each approach. A real estate agent takes a cut of the profit for their services and you may end up paying a little more. The greatest benefit for purchasers is that the agent can help to negotiate offers that you make which saves you time and stress. They can point out important features of the home and answer any questions that you may have through their legal obligation for disclosure. You can’t always be sure that a seller will be upfront with you. As pointed out in the Redfin study, not everyone is aware of the important questions that need to be asked about a home before they purchase. Buyers remorse can be miserable to live with if you learn by trial and error.
Key #3: Make sure that the home is in good repair
Often, people buy fixer uppers because they believe that they can turn a junk home into a suitable home and save money in the process. The truth of the matter is that homes that are run down may have deeper issues than meet the eye. The expense involved in making major repairs and renovations can easily exceed the cost of purchasing a home that is in excellent repair. You’ll be much happier moving into a home that is beautiful, welcoming and safe for occupancy from day one than if you move into a junker that you don’t have the time or money to fix up.
Key #4: Choose an area with a reasonable cost of living
Some areas have a higher cost of living than others. This can affect your property taxes and the chunk of your income that will be spent to survive. Take the time to do your research so you can find a home that is in an area that you will be able to afford without sacrificing safety or comfort. You’ll be much happier if your home is in an area that is affordable for your current income level. In some cases, it’s cheaper to live in a suburb vs the city or in a rural area if this is appealing to you.
Key #5: Choose a home that is the right size
If your home is too large or too small, your happiness bucket will spring a leak. Larger homes require additional maintenance and they are more expensive to heat and cool. You won’t be happy with a home that is too small because you’ll feel cramped. Go with a house that offers the amount of living space that you require to be the most comfortable and that will meet your needs. If you’re planning to have a family, you may want to consider how many bedrooms you’ll need for new family additions.
Key #6: Pay a reasonable price that is comparable with the worth of the home
It’s important to make sure that you don’t pay more than what a home is worth just to outbid other interested parties. Make a reasonable offer that is within your budget. You’ll be much happier if you’re not struggling to make the mortgage payment in addition to all of the other costs associated with home ownership.
Key #7: Choose a home that you both love
If you have a significant other, it’s important to meet in the middle and find a house that makes both of you happy. If one spouse is terribly unhappy, it can lead to turmoil in the family and unhappiness for everyone. Make a few concessions so you’re both pleased with the purchase. A useful tact is to narrow your choices down to a few that you both agree upon and then make a list of pros and cons and go with the one that has the most advantages for each of you.
Key #8: Find a home that has useful features
The best home is one that is functional and comfortable. It should have features that meet your everyday living needs in addition to making you feel satisfied with the layout and design. This could include a fenced large backyard for children to play in, an area for pets, a shop for home projects, a large kitchen if you love cooking and so forth.
Key #9: Find a home that is located in comfortable surroundings
If you hate city life then unless there is a really good reason for going metro, you should look for a home that is in an outlying area. Some people are thrilled with a spectacular view of the city lights, and others are not at peace. You should choose a home that has surroundings that make you feel good. If you like open space, rural living might be the best choice. If you like having neighbors close, choose a home that has neighbors nearby. The view can have a tremendous impact on how you feel. While this isn’t as important for some new home buyers, for others it can influence mood and ultimate satisfaction with the house.
Key #10: Find a home that is surrounded by homes of comparable value
Living next to a junkyard or homes that are in disrepair can eventually bring down the value of your property. It’s important to take a look around at the homes and businesses that are near your home. In the long run, poorly maintained homes can become a constant source of irritation.