Buying a home can be a little overwhelming at times — especially in the initial stages. When buying a home, it is important to be confident, well-informed, and know exactly what you’re looking for every step of the way.
Before taking the steps of purchasing a home, here are a few helpful things to consider:
Needs and Want
Begin the house-hunting process by making a list of things you consider to be a priority in your next home. Such things could include the number of bedrooms you would like, the amount of storage space, proximity to schools or work, etc. Once you have completed that list, create a second list of things you would like to have in your next home. This is where the fundamental difference between needs vs. wants comes into play. Creating both of these lists will not only help you with a good starting point but will also allow you to eliminate homes that do not have the features that were listed in your notes.
If you need some tips on where to start with your list(s), consider the following:
- Think about your current lifestyle as well as any lifestyle changes you foresee in the longer term
- Select an urban, suburban, or rural location that best serves the needs of your evolving lifestyle
- Choose neighborhoods near the amenities that are most important to you like schools, shopping, entertainment, recreation, and transportation
- Consider your commute times to work, school, friends, and family
- Determine the size of home you require, such as the minimum number of bedrooms, as well as any other space requirements, like room for a home office
- Understand the home features most important to you, such as additional bathrooms or a large yard
- Decide on a property type that suits your lifestyle, needs, and finances. Consider a condominium apartment, townhouse, a single or multi-family dwelling
Types of Home Ownership
Another item to be aware of when deciding to buy a home is understanding the difference between different types of homeownership. As a point of reference, here are a few important ones to know:
A) Freehold Ownership
The home and its care are entirely your responsibility.
B) Condo Ownership
You are responsible for taking care of the inside of the home, however, you pay fees to a certain organization to look after the common areas and general maintenance.
C) Co-op Ownership
This is similar to the responsibilities outlined in Condo Ownership, but instead of owning your own unit, you buy shares in the whole building and pay maintenance and repair fees
Current Market Conditions
The conditions of the housing market vary and fluctuate between regions, cities, and even neighborhoods. For that reason, investigating the market yourself will never give you the same knowledge that a REALTOR® can provide. By seeking out professional experience, you will enhance and enrich your understanding of current market conditions and maximize your search.