It’s always exciting to make the decision that you’re going to buy a house. However, and of course, this isn’t a decision that you should rush into. When you’re putting so much money on the table, it’s important that you get things right. As with most things in life, you’ll find that figuring out which way to go becomes much easier if you ask yourself plenty of questions. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the best to ask. If you can answer the following questions honestly, then there’s every chance that you’ll end up in a house that’s right for you!
Is Buying A Good Idea?
Before we get too deep into the buying process, it’s a good idea to ask: is buying the right move for you? Some people are drawn to the idea of buying a property, when, in fact, they’d probably be better off renting for the foreseeable future. One thing to be mindful of is your motivation. If you’re buying a home just as a status token to keep up with your friends, then that’s the wrong motivation. Given how long and expensive it can be to acquire a house, it’s deeply important that your reasons for going through the process are solid.
What Can You Afford?
You might be able to buy the house that you’ve got your eye on. But the question is: should you? If it’s too expensive, then the answer should be a clear ‘no.’ Spending too much on a property is the number one reason why people experience “buyer’s remorse.” You won’t enjoy the house as much as you could or should if it feels like you’ve stretched your wallet too far to buy it. So when you first begin looking at homes, make sure you have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend. You can use a service like MortgageCalculator.UK to figure out how much you’ll be spending each month in payments. If you know that you can easily afford to make that payment, then you could be onto a good thing!
What’s the Area Like?
When you purchase a property, you do not just agree to buy the four walls and the roof. You’ll also be agreeing to invest in the community. Unless you’re living in a rural area, away from neighbours and amenities, you’ll belong to the broader society. The question is: do you want to? It’s normal that people prefer one type of town over others. If you can take a walk into town and feel like it’s a place where you belong, then you’ll be onto something good. On the other hand, if you’re not so hot on the neighbourhood, then it’ll be worthwhile reconsidering whether the house is the right option for you. People often overlook the surrounding area when they’re looking at a property, but you’ll notice it at some point. It’ll be better if you do so before you get the keys.
Why Would Someone Leave The House?
There are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone would leave their home. But it’s always a good idea to get an understanding of their reasons. Of course, in terms of the property, any red flags will come up on reports and things like that, but is there something that would be outside the framework of those reports that’s prompting them to leave? If nothing else, understanding the reasons will help you when it comes to the negotiation period since you’ll have a better sense of how motivated they are to move on.
What’s Your Long-Term Plan?
You’re not just buying a house for right now. You’re buying a house for the future too. Though you don’t have to stay in the property forever, you’ll realistically be there for at least five years — and in all likelihood, much longer. As such, it’s important to think about what your life might be like when that time rolls around. Will you have more children? Will your current teenage children have moved out? The landscape is unlikely to be precisely the same as it is right now. The question is whether the home you’re thinking of buying will still fit that landscape.
What Are Your Needs?
There’s no shortage of homes on the market. So when you’re looking to buy, you’ll need to find a way to narrow down the results. The first step for doing this is to draw up a list of your ‘needs.’ These are the non-negotiable features that your new property needs to have. For example, if you’re a couple with a child, then the bare minimum will be two bedrooms. If a property doesn’t have your list of ‘needs’ — which should be a pretty short list — then it’ll be an instant no.
What Are Your Wants?
The other question you’ll need to ask yourself, and the list you’ll need to make, is the wants that you would like your property to have. These are different to your needs in that they’re not necessarily non-negotiable but rather happy additions that’ll make you more inclined to put in a bid. While the list of your wants can be a little more extravagant than your ‘needs,’ it’s a good idea to keep things within the realm of possibility. Wanting to be within walking distance of a supermarket is realistic; a jacuzzi and swimming pool in the garden is less so.
How Does The House Fit In With Your Career?
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can work from home all day, every day, you’ll need to think about how your home fits in with your professional life. And by that, we mean the commute. You might think a long drive won’t matter when you’re living in the house of your dreams, but think about this — while the novelty of the home will fade away, the commute will stay. And if you hate driving, then you’ll only end up causing misery to yourself.
Are You Able to Compromise?
Nobody gets everything they want in life, including in the house in which they live. If you’re not only going to buy a home but also be happy with your decision, then you’ll need to make a few compromises. It’s just part and parcel of doing a deal. This will mean compromising with yourself (settling for a house that is otherwise great but lacks one key detail) and also with other people (your partner will have just as strong ideas about what they want as you do). For some people, this will be difficult. Most people don’t know how to compromise about the things that matter. Agreeing to go to one restaurant over another is one thing. Agreeing to buy a house when you have other ideas? That’s a different level. But it’s either that or don’t buy a house!
Do You Have Time To Make Improvements?
If you’re looking to get a deal and also to buy a property that you can put your own stamp on, then it can be a good idea to look at getting a fixer-upper. But even if the home is broadly in good shape, there’ll always be things about it that you want to change. But in order to change them, you’ll need to have both time and cash. Will you have enough of each to get the house exactly as you want it? If not, then you might prefer to buy a home that’s as close to perfect as possible. Sometimes, people buy a home with big plans, only for years to pass before they get around to making any changes. And while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, it’s not the dream that most people envision for their home.
Is Now The Right Time?
When you have the idea to buy a property, it’s normal that enthusiasm and excitement take over. Before you know it, you’re looking at homes and beginning the buying process. However, just because you’ve had that initial wave of excitement, that doesn’t mean that you have to follow the thread of excitement to the end. If you’ve got a lot going on in your life, then it might be better to sit down and wait until a more appropriate time arrives. Once you’re in the thick of the moving process, you’ll realise just how chaotic and stressful it can be — and at that point, you’ll be glad that you’ve got nothing else too demanding going on.
Are You Ready To Commit?
Finally, the last question that you should ask yourself is whether you’re ready to commit to one place and community. This is a bigger question if you’re buying your first home, but it’s always relevant. There are a lot of advantages to buying a home, but it’s not as if it’s all positive. You will, after all, be closing off other options, and that requires a deep level of commitment to your decision. If you can accept that, then you’re probably ready to go through the process.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.