6 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

6 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

The following contribution is from another author.

Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions that you will ever make. It is an exciting decision, but it can also be a very daunting one. You might know that you need to buy your first home or make a move to a different house, but it can be difficult to know quite where to start the process. Buying a new home is often a decision that has been driven by change in your life, so it helps to focus on those changes and make those central to the initial search. If it is a new job, then location to that job is likely to be the primary factor in your hunt. If it is a growing family, then perhaps it is the local amenities and size of the home that are paramount in this search. Once you are clear on the key elements, you can then begin to drill down and think about what it is that you really need or want from your new home. Here we will share with you those 6 things to consider when buying a home, which should help you to begin that property search with confidence.

1) Location, location, location

Location is often one of the key considerations in any new home search. It is also one of the main drivers of many house moves, as people are seeking to move into a certain area or a specific street. As such, location will often be the starting point of any new home search.

Location is often thought about in terms of certain towns, cities or states, and whilst this is usually the case, it can sometimes be more abstract. You might live in a very busy city and just want to move to a quieter place. You might dream of living in a home with a sea view. You might be desperate to be living deep in the country. In these cases, you will have a much wider search area so you might need to start working on some of the other items on this list first, before returning to location and beginning to narrow it down.

If you are looking to move to an area that you are familiar with, perhaps one that you are already living in or you have family in, this is as far as you need to work on this point. If you are clear that this is the place for you, then skip to the next point on our list and begin focusing on amenities and property requirements before searching for that home.

If you are looking to relocate to a completely new area, there is plenty of help at hand. There are often local websites and newspapers that are worth taking a look at to give you a better feel for the area and the community. If you do decide to take the plunge, ensure that your move runs smoothly with the help of budget interstate removals and get friends and family involved where possible. They will be keen to see your new home anyway, they will want to be there on moving day to give you a hand.

2) Local amenities

You need to research the local amenities that are available in your desired home’s area. You will need to think about those amenities that are the most important to you now, those amenities that might become important to you at some point in the future, and those amenities that will make the home more sellable if ever you need to do that.

What is it that you need right now from the area that you will live in? Do you need to be near to certain road links for your commute? Do you need there to be good schools in the area? Or might this be something that you will require at some point in the future? Will this be a short or long term move? If it is the former, the saleability of your home is a key consideration and you will often find that the excellent amenities in the locality can drive that price up and make the house more likely to sell quickly. For example, if you are a five minute walk from a highly rated school, your house is likely to be snapped up within days of going on the market. This is also a factor for you to understand when buying the house in the first place, it might well be a home that you need to move quickly on in order to secure it for yourself.

Whether you opt for a remote or central location in any town might impact on how easily that you can access the local amenities, so again consider how this might work for you, is it viable to be more remote?

3) Energy efficiency

Buying an energy efficient home is becoming more and more important in current times. People understand the lower impact that an energy efficient home has on the environment, along with appreciating the financial benefits that it can bring. When viewing homes, you might want to take this into consideration and use it to help you to shortlist. Alternatively, you can ensure that you are aware of how to make your home more energy efficient and then factor in any costs associated with making these alterations and conversions after you have purchased the property.

4) Must haves

Everyone will have a different ‘must have’ list, as these are driven by an individual’s situation, tastes and preferences. The types of must haves that tend to feature on people’s lists will be around some of the items already mentioned in our other points, then in addition it might be things like the number of bedrooms, the garden type and size, the off road parking options, open plan living space, views of the beach and more. Most buyers have these on their lists, though how important each item is varies from person to person. You might be moving as you desperately need an extra bedroom, meaning that the number of bedrooms in your next home is right at the top of your list and is completely non-negotiable. You might like the idea of a view of the beach, and it might be the final thing that clinches a deal for you, but this might be something that you can forego for a more appropriate home elsewhere. You need to note down everything that you would love your next home to have and then go back through it and place it in order of priority and be prepared to compromise on some of the items that are further down on your list.

5) New or old?

We have already spoken about energy efficiency in a home, and if this is important to you, it is often a new build that will deliver this over an older home. Whilst it is true that any home can be converted into a more energy efficiency abode, newer homes are likely to have been constructed with this in mind so will have inbuilt features and materials to promote this.

Energy efficiency aside, the decision over whether to buy a new or an older property can often rest on the locality that you are seeking to buy in, as there may simply be an abundance of either new or old homes available there. You might also find that some of your ‘must haves’ can only be delivered in a new home, though do bear in mind conversions and alterations can be made after you move in. This might also be a question of personal taste, as you might love the character that some older houses offer, or you might enjoy having input into the finishing touches of a brand new home as the builder completes it.

6) Your heart

This one is neither practical or possible to explain, but how many times have people told you that they have chosen their home as it was a decision made from the heart? Whilst this is not a factor that we can scientifically explain or break down to help you to plan your search, it is worthy of inclusion here as it might well be that final deciding element of your house hunt. If you have ensured that you have worked through the previous 5 points and that has helped you to reduce your search to a handful of appropriate properties, then going with your heart in order to decide is going to help you to make that final decision to buy. You will be looking around homes that meet your criteria, so allow yourself to imagine living there, what would that feel like? If it makes you feel happy, if you can imagine yourself and all of your belongings there, then this could well be the one. Smiling whilst you look round is always the give away, you will likely know when you have found a home that has stolen your heart.

We hope that this list has helped you, we wish you the best of luck with your search for your new home.


Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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