In parts one and two of our series on how to avoid common homebuyer mistakes, we outlined money management essentials and the how to shop for the right home. Today we'll explain the importance of choosing a home that meets your long-run needs and stress what many consider to be the first rule of real estate: location, location, location.
Pick a Size and Layout That Meet Your Changing Needs
Americans typically live in their homes for a decade before selling, according to the National Association of Realtors. So, before buying a home, you should consider how you'll use the space today and how you might use it ten years from now.
Are you planning on starting a family? Think through how each home you are considering will meet the needs of your growing brood. That extra bedroom may not seem necessary today, but it could make a whole lot of sense in five years.
On the flip side, homebuyers who “go big” face other challenges. They may face added maintenance, furniture and utility costs that could end up being budget busters.
Doing the research now, and thinking a lot about your future-self, can help you avoid needless expenses today, and time-consuming moves or renovations tomorrow.
Research the Neighborhood
When you buy a home, you are also committing to live in the surrounding community. So, make sure you like it! Spend a day in the neighborhood before you buy. Time is well spent exploring your future community and getting to know your potential neighbors. Take a stroll to see what's in walking distance, understand the transit routes, and stop in to the local businesses you might frequent.
In addition to seeing the neighborhood in person, there are online tools with information on demographics, taxes, schools and crime rates for the area. With a little bit of investigation, you can get an idea of the quality of life to expect in a neighborhood.
Always remember, there is no such thing as too much research when it comes to finding the right home for you. For more resources see what industry experts have to say on this topic and visit My Home by Freddie Mac®