When you’re choosing the right home for you and your family, there are endless considerations, which can sometimes leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed. The key to making the right choice is having a clear idea of what’s best for you and your lifestyle. The sooner you have a clear vision, the smoother your journey, and the happier you’ll be with your decision.
Here are our top 5 considerations before buying a home.
1. What’s your budget?
Ask yourself what your budget is, and more importantly, if it’s realistic and manageable. Watch out for unexpected or hidden expenses. Some builders charge extra for things like unforeseen retaining, connecting to services (i.e. water, power or sewer) and site access issues. You may like to look for a homebuilder who offers a fixed price guarantee, so there are no nasty surprises!
It can be tough finding the right balance between buying your dream home and being able to finance it – but the process should be exciting, not stressful. Be honest with yourself about what is manageable. There’s no point buying your dream home, if you have no money left to enjoy life!
2. Location, location, location!
Don’t underestimate the importance of location. A fail-proof guide to assessing your home’s locality should be based on access to life’s necessities – food, health, work and play.
Living in close proximity to a supermarket is key. You’d be surprised at the difference it makes living closer to a convenience store, than a supermarket. Nine out of ten times, you’ll top up on staple items at the 7/11, rather than driving a bit further to Coles or Aldi – even if the prices are double.
Have you considered what local health services are available? Doctors, dentists, hospitals – even surrounding chemists. Being close to these services can make life a whole lot easier.
How long will your commute to work be? It’s worth mapping out and comparing potential routes, especially if some paths avoid congested highways. Even better, is there public transport you can use?
After work, there comes play. Does the neighbourhood you’re considering have lots of parks and green space? Your health is just as important as your home, and getting some fresh air or having a place to walk the dog is important.
If you’re looking into up and coming communities, make sure you check out the master plan. It not only gives you a great insight into the locality and availability of everyday services, but it also gives you a ‘big picture’ overview of what to expect from your new neighbourhood.
3. Are you close to schools?
There are many advantages to living in a school district. The obvious benefit is easy school drop-offs and pick-ups (especially on days when the kids have early morning band practice). But even if your children have left the nest, you may still like to consider living in a school district, as it does tend to increase the value of your home.
Did you know that two thirds of homeowners want to be in safe walking distance from schools? Living near a school is an immediate indication that you are somewhat central. Schools are not only a learning space during weekdays, but an all-round hub for extra-curricular activities on weekends. Cafes and corner stores see this as an opportunity, which means your home will never be far from necessities like coffee or petrol.
For all these reasons, future home buyers will also see the value of being in close proximity to schools. So if you’re thinking of selling further down the track, living in a school district automatically makes your home a hot piece of property.
4. Who are you buying for?
You can immediately gauge the size and style of the home that’s right for you by asking – who are you really buying for?
Start by thinking about how many bedrooms you’d like, and if you need extra room for guests or your growing family. This will also help you to decide on the number and style of bathrooms you need (ensuite, regular or separate toilet and shower).
Once you’ve considered the people you’re buying for, you can then think about their preferences and hobbies. Are there any musicians in the house who may need a designated practice space? Does anyone work from home and need an office? Honestly assessing the needs of your family is the best and most cost-effective way to decide how much space you actually need.
What stage of life are you at?
Now it’s time to ask yourself what type of homeowner you are. Are you starting family? A young professional? Or perhaps you’re looking to downsize?
If you’re starting a family, you may prefer the convenience of open plan living. This allows plenty of room for the kids, ample space for their toys and an overall casual feel for easy living.
Alternatively, if you like entertaining or more defined spaces, you may prefer a more structured floor plan that accommodates a formal dining space, music room or a large alfresco area.
5. Are you a morning person?
When the sun hits, there’s never really a ‘right’ position for your home to face, although a north-easterly aspect is very popular. It really comes down to a matter of personal preference and your schedule. Homes that face east are bathed in glorious morning sun, while west-facing houses are blessed with sun-kissed afternoons and gorgeous sunsets.
On the other hand, summer can leave you waking up incredibly sweaty, or battling the intense, uncomfortable afternoon sun, especially if you don’t have the appropriate shade devices. Regardless, all positions have positives and negatives – it really just depends on what you prefer.
Think about which areas of the home you spend most of your time in, and at what time of the day. Check them out in different lights by visiting display homes at different times. It’s a great way to get a feel for what your home will be like.
Need a hand? There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a new home. If you need someone to talk to, the friendly team at Hallmark Homes are here to give you a hand. With over 30 years of experience, we can guide you through this exciting process.