"Home is where the heart is.” So what does it take to find your dream home? Let’s start checking off some very important boxes and set you on the right path.
Single? Married? Ready to have kids? Think ahead about your future plans that might include family expansion. Not to mention the in-laws dropping by for a visit, and that home office that comes in handy…
What’s a comfortable drive to the office? How far is the kid’s school? Do you enjoy walking to the library or a café?
According to Forbes, location is also important when it comes to the resale value of a home. Homes that are located closer to the downtown area of a town or city are naturally going to sell better than homes that are located further away. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule because there are many suburban areas that are considered upscale even though they’re far away from downtown. Consider the neighborhood’s reputation in real-estate circles before you buy.
Man cannot live on bread alone. However, most of us would agree that bread is a pretty important thing! You need to be located in an area where you can easily get food and other necessities needed for a daily existence. So you should find out if there’s a grocery store in the neighborhood where you’re thinking of buying. If you think of yourself as a chef, you might even need an artisanal grocery store which stocks more than just the usual produce.
If you love going out to restaurants, you might want to walk around and see if there are any good ones in your neighborhood. If you often take your laptop to coffee shops and work there, you might want to check if there are any coffee shops in your neighborhood. The presence of a pharmacy, clothing stores, and a movie theater might also be important to you.
Safety first, last, and always! You can figure out whether a neighborhood is safe by looking up the crime stats online. There are many websites which enable you to look up this information such as Neighborhood Scout and Crime Reports.
You can also ask people in the neighborhood where you’re thinking about buying. Go to the local diner and speak to the waitress. If you’re buying a condo, speak to other people in the building. Most people are happy to share the information they have. It gives people a sense of importance to be consulted by someone who’s making an important decision, so don’t hesitate or feel self-conscious about doing this.
Also remember to trust your gut. If you’re walking around the neighborhood and it just feels dull, desolate, littered and uncared for, chances are the crime rate is also higher than usual.
HOUSE OR APARTMENT?
If you’re single or a couple with no kids, you might opt to buy a condo rather than a house. Most people with large families opt for houses so that they can have more space inside the house as well as outside.
However, the main difference between buying a house or an apartment lies in the maintenance factor. When you buy a house, all your maintenance is up to you. If something goes wrong with the roof, the boiler, the plumbing, the heating or the electrical wiring, you’re going to have to take care of the repairs. This can become pretty expensive in the long run. So unless you’re good at taking care of little things yourself, a house might not be the right choice for you.
In an apartment, you are generally responsible for repairs within the apartment. Your monthly maintenance payments will cover anything that goes wrong outside the apartment (but within the apartment building). So maintaining an apartment is relatively easier.
You need to buy a home you can afford. Sometimes, people assume that just because a bank is willing to lend them the money necessary to buy a home, they can afford it. However, a bank may not know about all your added expenses, just the ones that are visible on paper. So it’s up to you to make sure that you can really afford a home and that it’s not going to be a financial drain on you. Consider the mortgage payments as well as the tax payments that you’re going to have to make.
Buying a fixer-upper? Add 30% to the repair estimates, just in case! Surprises are not your friend during a rehab. Now you’re ready to find that dream home! Call Team Hilbert to get started today!