You’re probably aware of many questions to ask about a home you’re thinking of buying, but there are important questions to ask yourself, too.
Here’s a list to get you started so you can feel secure in your choice of a new home for you and your family.
Before you start looking:
What do I really want in a house?
This will help get at the heart of why you’re buying a house in the first place. Are you upgrading in size or style? Are you set on specifics in architecture or style, or are you just looking for something that fits you and feels right? At the same time, think about the things you don’t really care about, or the things you’re willing to compromise on.
What do I need in a home?
Needs (as opposed to wants) should include things like the number and size of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms. But there are more personal needs too, and having them or not can affect your and your family’s well being.
For example, if gardening is an important hobby and essential stress-reliever for you, then you need a house with enough yard and enough sun to make that possible.
What can I afford?
We all know this is an essential question. Do not skip it. It includes figuring out what kind of down payment you can make and what interest rate you can likely get on your mortgage. There are tools like online mortgage calculators that can help you determine a practical price range.
Remember that buying a home that you hope you will be able to afford is almost guaranteed to end badly.
When you’re walking through a home:
Can I see myself here? Does it feel like home to me?
Remember that even the most beautiful home might not feel right for you. Consider your own style and comfort. You can love how something looks, but it doesn’t mean you would be happy living in it.
Can I see my things here?
Don’t be wowed by great staging only to realize too late that your own furniture and favorite art doesn’t fit or doesn’t look right in the space.
Is it going to take a lot of work to be what I really want or need?
And if the answer is yes: is it work I have time, energy, and money to do? If you’re not interested in renovating or you’re not into DIY projects, choose a home that only needs minimal upgrades.
When you think you’ve found The One:
Can I see myself—and my family—here in 5 years?
If you don’t plan to stay in a house for at least five years, it likely isn’t worth the investment. But if you’ve found a house you think you love, you need to picture the long term. Will it still fit your needs five years from now—or even more?
If that last answer is yes, then chances are you’re on your way to making a good decision.