Finding your dream home can be a long and arduous task. It takes time, patience, negotiation, compromise and more, but when you get it right the hardship seems completely worth it.
A home can last you a life time, if you’re lucky. Or, sometimes different style and sizes of houses can suit you perfectly for certain periods of your life, until you outgrow them or up-route to a different location.
To find which kind of home is ideal for you at this very moment in time, we have put together a home-buyers guide.
What do you want from your home?
Where you are in your life and your financial situation will definitely determine your home-buying process, including your likelihood to settle in one place, and how much space you need. Typically, younger people, including students and young professionals, will seek small accommodation that is often shared, due to having less work experience and savings.
Students usually only stay in accommodation for one or two years at a time before they look around for something else – either to live with different housemates, relocate for job purposes or move back in with parents.
If you’re older, you’ll typically have more years of work under your belt and more likely be comfortably settled in a particular city/state or job/career. This may mean you’re able to put more money towards a more permanent home – one that is perhaps a little out of your price range, but allows you room to grow. You might even want to move in with a loved one or a friend who’s at a similar stage in their life.
If this is you, you might consider buying a condo. The positives of a condo are that they require less maintenance and upkeep than a larger property. Yet, what they may lack in space they make up for in luxury, as most condos for sale in Chicago are incredibly plush and offer amenities such as concierge services, pools, spas and groundkeepers. If you buy a condo, you won’t have to worry about the overall property management, and still get to enjoy all the perks of owning your own luxury home.
Location, location, location
They say location is key, so make sure you’re set on your preferred location before you start the house hunt. It’s important to remember that different states in the U.S. have different laws, travel networks, weather, job opportunities and issues, so it’s best to be fully familiar with an area before you decide to move there.
Additionally, the location of a property can be enough to make you fall in love with it, and ultimately sway your decision to pick it over another. So, be sure to know what kind of location you’re looking for – a quiet street; the middle of town; somewhere remote; overlooking the ocean – before you start the process. Also, make sure you do repeat viewings of the property to get the feel of the place at different times of day.
What are your job prospects?
When looking for a home, it’s wise to think ahead to the future. Where are you in your career right now? Are you settled, or do you want a career-change? Do you know what you could be earning in five years? Are you based in an office or freelance? Do you travel a lot?
Your occupation is a huge factor to consider when buying a property. You may want to rent instead of buy if you’re going to be out of the country/state for long periods of time throughout the year. And if you know your salary will be increasing, you can afford to consider more expensive properties or take out a larger mortgage.
Are you planning a family?
You might be moving into a house with your life partner, and so kids might be on the cards for you (if they aren’t already). To save yourself the hassle of moving again and again in short spaces of time, you should buy bigger than you need, with the view of growing into it with your future family.
This is a popular option for young couples and families, as they will then raise their children in the said house for a decade or two. If this is the case for you, you should really think long and hard about your future home (and get excited about how you’re going to make it your own).
Thinking about these things will set you in great stead to tackle the house-buying process, ensuring it’s as quick and as pain-free as possible. Good luck!