5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Family Home
1. Where do we want our children to go to school?
a. Unless you’re homeschooling your children, you put them in a private school, or they got into a lottery school of your choosing, they’re going to public school.
b. Public schools – is that what you want and which schools if any do you have a preference for? Are you in the right district? AKA LOCATION
i. Sports, extra-curricular – music, student council, etc.
2. What size family do we plan on having?
a. If you’re like me, you didn’t plan a number, but you love kids. But let me ask you this question, what is your maximum amount of children you could see yourself having?
b. Every child doesn’t necessarily need to have its own bedroom.
i. If you want SIX children, you don’t need a SIX-bedroom house. That’s probably not feasible. But you probably do need at least a 4-bedroom house.
ii. Why is this important? Resale. If you outgrow a house, you can’t bank on selling a house in 4 years and coming out on top. The first few years of a typical 30-year mortgage go towards paying MOSTLY interest. Plan the next 3, 5, 10 and 15 years.
a. Don’t be house rich and cash poor.
b. Look at your finances, look at your budget, what do we feel comfortable paying every month? Work backwards from there.
c. Your income says you can afford it, but can you really?
i. Don’t forget about utilities and maintenance costs.
1. New roof, boiler, paint, upgrades, etc.
d. Think about some of the other things you want to spend your money on, such as: pets, sports and vacations.
e. PRO-TIP: If your budget is $350k, but you go looking at your pre-approved amount of $500k, you WILL LIKE THAT HOUSE MORE. Its just science! Stick to your budget, and live in your means.
4. How old are you and where are you at in your money making career.
a. Where are you at in your career?
i. If you’re young, you have energy, and time on your side. Contemplate using your FHA / VA loan for a fourplex or multifamily. Make a sacrifice, live in a shoebox if you have to, and build your portfolio.
b. On the contrary: Are you gearing up for retirement?
i. Less maintenance is better. Layout should be ideal for minimal movement; you never know what is going to happen.
c. I just want to say, don’t feel like you have to invest in real estate. It’s not for everyone, and you can build wealth in numerous ways. It does require sacrifice, an eye for a deal and knowing an agent who knows their numbers AND is conservative (WINK WINK)…you’re probably not going to get granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, and that’s ok. Investing for your future IS a sacrifice, but a great one.
5. Enjoyment of Life
a. Do you want a pet, do you need a fence, south facing yard.
i. PS WE LOVE a south facing yard for that sun, and gardening.
ii. Maybe you’re homebodies and love staying inside and watching a movie. That’s fine; let’s get you a media room.
b. Do you want a view, be close to shopping, love downtown?
c. Commute time? Studies show the closer you are to work, the better your quality of life. It’s facts people.