Before moving to Boston, Chris and I brainstormed our “must-haves” in a house. We went through all those things you think about before buying a home.
“I can let the dog out and not worry about him,” I said as my husband chimed in “… And I can have a workshop.” They were superficial things that made us feel like we had chosen the right house for our family if we got them.
We wrote down all the hopes, dreams, and desires we had and then gave ourselves a reality check. What could we truly not live without and now how could afford something realistic?
Because what about the important things like having money in savings in case a toilet floods or actually needing some lawn equipment for the yard I wanted?
What to consider before looking at buying a house
Our Boston home was our third home. But by far the most expensive because of the real estate market in the area. It was the hardest market to buy a house in and definitely tested our financial stability and maybe even our marriage.
Whether you are seeking to purchase a first time home or have already gone through the process of home buying and are interested in purchasing another house, there are things to think about before you buy and really, even before you start researching, looking, and falling in love with houses.
Because if you fall in love with a house, you have to make sure you can actually live in it, care for it, and afford it without eating ramen every night.
Is your Credit Score up to Par to buy a house?
These days it’s so hard to purchase a home without having fantastic credit rankings. Sure, you can find loans for lower end credit scores, but it will cost you a lot more upfront to get into a loan. Take a moment to clean up your credit score and double check the status of your credit health.
Learn How Home Buying Process Works
The home buying process changes quite frequently so even if you have been through this process before, it’s time to freshen up the facts on all that buying a home entails. Discuss with your prospective lender what they will require from you once you set your eyes on a new home.
Can You Afford Home Maintenance?
Buying a home is a lot more responsibility than renting a home.
Make sure that you will be able to afford the maintenance on your new home both inside and outside. You will now be the one in charge of paying for any plumbing, heating and landscaping issues or needs that arise.
How Large of a Home Do You Need?
Buying a home is a long term commitment, in most cases, so be certain to know what size of home you need. And it’s actually maybe not as cut and dry as it sounds.
Things to consider about how big your home should be:
- Is there the possibility of your family growing?
- Necessities for a home office space or other areas of interest that would require having a specific room in the home
- Do you or your family require lots of storage space?
- do you need a large pantry?
- How often will you be home
They are all important questions in analyzing the “right” size house!
Does land or a yard matter?
Think about how you like to spend your time. If it’s indoors, then maybe looking at not having much of a lawn (or any) is great. In fact, if you don’t like mowing or don’t have the money for a mower and other outdoor yard equipment, then don’t buy anything that would cost you more money long term.
What Area Do you Want to Live in?
When thinking of the happiest place on Earth, are you best suited in the middle of a busy city or do you prefer the quiet environment country living offers? Be certain to know what area you prefer to live in and what works best for your family needs too.
And think about family. This is not necessarily being close or far away, but if you’re single or have no kids right now, do you plan on being in that house down the road with kids? If so, what are the schools like and is it a safe environment for them to play?
Be Sure to Get Preapproved
Many homeowners will work with you on selling their property if they see you are already preapproved for a certain amount of money. This preapproval process doesn’t guarantee you a loan, however, it shows that the basics are covered and a bank will consider you for a home purchase loan.
Have Fun House Hunting!
Remember that sometimes that first home you look at isn’t always the right choice. Sure it may see exciting because it’s the first home and you can make it work.
The reality is, don’t settle for buying a home that’s anything less than what you desire, what you can afford, and what is reasonable for your budget.
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