mortgage check blog fullIf you’re new to the first home buyers’ club and need some help with identifying the right home for you, here are a few things to think about.

Apartments vs. Houses

Not too long ago, the choice of whether to live in an apartment or house was purely based on your finances. Generally, people would rent an apartment until they could afford to buy a house. However, now inner-city apartment living is growing in popularity.

When it comes to choosing the right home for you, and comparing apartment living to a larger, “roomier” homes, there are definite pros and cons for both. A smaller place like an apartment means less clutter, lower energy bills, less maintenance. In contrast, with a more spacious house, you have access to a back (and front) yard, extra space and storage with bigger rooms, additional bathrooms, and your own garage.

When it comes to choosing between an apartment and a house, here are a few simple questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you comfortable with a shared living environment?
  • What sort of commute do you want to have each day?
  • Do you prefer living in close quarters, or having room to move?
  • Are you looking for your ‘for now’ home, or your ‘forever’ home?
  • Are you planning to grow your family in the next 5 years?

One, two or three bedrooms

It’s one of the most basic and yet essential questions you’ll ask yourself when you start searching for the right property. Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to decide the right number of bedrooms is by how many people will be living in the home. Any real estate agent will tell you that there are several advantages for an extra bedroom, whether in an apartment or house, including a greater resale value in the future.

To help you identify what you need in terms of bedroom capacity in your home, here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you work from home? Do you need a productive workspace at home?
  • How often do you have guests?
  • Are you single or in a relationship? Do you have children or see yourself having children soon?
  • How important is having storage space?

Location, location, location!

As the saying goes; you can change everything about a house except its location. The choice of where to live has become a higher priority amongst home buyers. Proximity to local cafés, shops, schools and parks; low crime rates; street access and parking as well as access to public transport and being away from the “hustle and bustle” are just some of the attributes worth considering.

What really shapes your decision is your life stage, relationship status and personal taste. Younger home buyers will cite access to bars and restaurants as desirable, while those with or looking to start a family will prioritise streets with less traffic and congestion like those with a cul-de-sac and proximity to sought-after schools.

Here are just a few things you should consider when deciding on the best location for you:

Simple, can you afford it? Do you have room in your budget?
How far do you have to travel to get to work? Where is your nearest grocery store? How close is it to your family and friends? Is it close to schools if you have children?
Does the area have a good community feel?
Is the area or suburb expected to grow, or develop further? How big or populated an area would you like to live in?
Are there other young families in the area with potential playmates for your kids, or is it largely a neighbourhood with retirees?

Are you looking for your ‘forever home’?

Most of us can’t afford our dream home straight away. But your ‘forever home’ doesn’t need to tick everything on your wish list immediately. What is most important is being able to see yourself living there for the next 20 or even 30 years. It is the home that you see serving you and your family for years to come – from babies through to empty-nest.

With that in mind, it is worth investing in a property that is adaptable and can change with your family’s needs. Location and land size are essential to this.

So how do you know if a house has the potential to be your ‘forever home’?

  • Is there enough room for a growing family?
  • Does it have the potential for expansion?
  • Will the house suit your needs as you grow older and become less mobile?

If you would like to explore your options for homeownership further, get in touch to speak with one of our friendly mortgage brokers today.