Pliny the Elder once said, “Home is where the heart is.” Of course, this means that people feel most at home when they are surrounded by their loved ones. However, you can also pick the type of home that your loved ones will be most comfortable living in.
A house or an apartment becomes a home when it fulfills the needs of your entire family. Everyone has to feel good about the home if they want to live together and create memories that will last a lifetime. So choose your home with care. Here are a few things that you should look out for in a home.
It’s true that there are many ways to create space in a home. Even if you don’t have that much floor space, you can make room for a family. However, it’s always better to buy a home that your entire family will be able to fit into.
Nowadays, more and more single people are becoming financially responsible enough to buy a home, as per this article from Huffington Post. But as the author points out, you’re not always going to be single. You might, at some point, decide to get married and start a family. So you need to consider this when you’re deciding upon the size of your home.
The same goes for couples. If you don’t have any kids, think about whether you plan to have them in the future. If you have kids already, think about whether you plan to have more. If you have elderly parents, consider their future needs. Will they be getting home health aides, joining a retirement community, or coming to stay with you?
The location of a home is important to everyone who lives in it. You and your spouse will probably want to live close to where you both work. And chances are that you’re not going to work in exactly the same area. So you need to find a house or apartment in an area which is conveniently located for both of you. As far as your kids are concerned, location is important because you want there to be good schools in the area.
According to this article from 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 is important whether you’re single or the head of a large family. Everyone wants to live in a safe neighborhood. 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. You and your spouse might have a pretty high joint income, but if one of you is planning to leave your job, your income might go down in the future.
Additionally, think about how much money you have put away in the form of savings. As per this article from Huffington Post, you should have enough to put down 20 percent of the cost of the home as your down payment. A larger down payment also increases your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.
It’s also best to factor in any repairs you might have to make to the home. Is it a fixer-upper? If so, do you really have the budget necessary to fix it up? Sometimes, it might be a better idea to go for a smaller, cozier home that you will easily be able to afford, rather than opting for a spacious mansion, the payments of which will require you to work day and night!