Five things to think of when buying your dream home

Buying a dream home is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life, but it’s also a decision that requires careful consideration. There are plenty of factors to weigh before making such a significant investment, including costs, location, and the home’s condition. Here are five key considerations for home buyers to keep in mind when purchasing a home.

Location, location, location
Ultimately, choosing the right location can enhance a home buyer’s quality of life. The home’s proximity to work and schools is one aspect to consider, and property value in the neighborhood is another.

“To get an idea of whether the location is ideal for their needs, home buyers can consider factors such as distance to work, shopping, and transportation options,” said Hanna Grichanik, financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual’s Canale Financial Group. “They can also look into the neighborhood’s safety, community atmosphere, and future development plans (if available). Research local property values and trends to get some relevant data about whether the property has held its value over time.”

Size and layout
Unless home buyers are planning on extensive renovations or rebuilding a home, size and layout are key considerations when home shopping. The house should be accessible to everyone living in it, so a multiple-story home may not be a great option when one or more family members have mobility issues. Similarly, a play area may be an important consideration for new parents.

“Buyers should have a number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces in mind that will accommodate their family and lifestyle,” said Grichanik. “They should keep in mind any potential future plans, such as a growing family or aging in place, and choose a home that can adapt to evolving needs over time.”

Condition and maintenance
Carefully assessing the house’s condition can help buyers avoid surprises and expenses down the road. A professional home inspector can check the property for any structural issues, safety concerns, or maintenance needs before the home purchase goes through.

Buyers should consider the age and condition of major appliances, parts of the house, and systems, such as the roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. Even homes that look near-perfect from the outside may have issues that are out of sight, so it can help to budget for potential repairs.

Financial planning
“Home buying can often be one of the biggest purchases in one’s life,” said Grichanik. “Unanticipated fees, application costs, and other closing costs can quickly add up.”

This makes financial planning a crucial consideration for aspiring homeowners. A skilled financial advisor can help buyers make their homeownership dreams a reality by helping them manage finances and save for a down payment efficiently.

For buyers looking for an advisor, a friend or family member may be able to refer a trustworthy financial advisor, or home buyers can type “financial advisor near me” into a search engine and begin looking for someone who is a good fit.

Resale potential
Even buyers looking for their “forever home” may want to consider its resale potential. Circumstances can change, and homeowners may eventually want to downsize, move to another city or state, or look for another home that requires less maintenance and upkeep. While there are no guarantees, it can help to visit the price history of the home and research the resale potential of similar homes in the neighborhood.

The bottom line
Buying a house is one of the most significant financial decisions that most people will make. In addition to these tips, buyers can consider speaking to other homeowners to get advice for a seamless home-buying experience.