Emotions Aside, How to Choose the Right Home

Monday, April 08 at 11:25 AM
Category: Arvest News

When buying a home, it is easy to get caught up in emotions. You fall in love with the new kitchen or giant yard, but the largest purchase for most people requires some objective consideration. One of the best ways to determine if a house has the potential to be your dream home is to visually apply your daily life to it.

Just another day
Picture yourself living in the home on a typical day in your life.

Everyday living: Where do you prepare and eat meals? Is there space for everyone to gather together or spend time apart? Do you need an area for a hobby or for large holiday gatherings? Where do you pay your bills and file important documents? If you have school age children, where will they do their homework?

Entertainment: If you entertain, do you typically invite a large group or prefer more intimate gatherings? Where will you set up your television, sound system and computer? Is special wiring required? Do one or more family members take a daily run or use exercise equipment indoors? If so, where would these activities take place?

Maintenance: What will require additional time or money for maintenance? Can you clean the house on your own, or will you need to employ a cleaning service? Are there carpets that will need regular cleaning? What about the heating and/or cooling systems? Will you have to paint the exterior, or does it have siding? If there is a pool it will need regular cleaning; are you prepared and comfortable with the added work?

Outside: If you like to spend time outdoors is there space for eating, entertaining or just relaxing? Is there a patio? What is the sun exposure? Are there trees to shade the house in the summer? Are they well maintained to allow light and air to circulate? What will autumn raking entail? How much winter shoveling will be needed? How much upkeep will the landscaping require?

Household tasks and local activities
Once you determine a house is ideal for your family’s way of living, think about where you need to go when you pull out of the driveway.

Is there a grocery store, hardware store, library, farmers’ market, or other retailers and service providers you and your family use regularly near this home? If your children are currently enrolled in sports and activities, then can they continue, or will you have to find new ones? Are there families nearby with whom you can carpool? Will children have to change schools?

Financial obligations
It’s also critical to look at your current financial obligations and determine how much money you feel comfortable putting towards a mortgage and other expenses associated with buying a home. Financial calculators can help you determine what your approximate mortgage payment would be. Just be sure to consider estimated property taxes and insurance when making this determination if you plan to finance those into your mortgage loan.

Remember to look at the cost of home maintenance, upgrades, repairs, HOA/condo fees, insurance as well as home values in your market. Educate yourself with additional financial resources or contact a lender to schedule a consultation so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Making your decision
Create a checklist of things that matter to you and rate each home you’re considering by these criteria. It will be easier to keep your emotions in check using this type of unbiased tool.

The house you thought you wanted may look different after you consider your day-to-day needs. Take these tips into consideration and be sure to sleep on it before signing on the dotted line. Buying a new home is an exciting step in life. Carefully consider all your options when making the commitment to home ownership.

Tags: Financial Education, Home Loans, Mortgage
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