Home ownership is a dream for many people. In fact, buying a home is considered by many people to be a major life accomplishment.
Various factors determine what makes a home an attractive place to live. While some considerations may overlap, others may be unique to individual buyers. Those new to the real estate arena may want to consider the following factors as they search for a new place to call home.
1: Property taxes
Property taxes can greatly affect the overall cost of living in a particular home. The real estate company RedFin says property taxes are generally levied by each county and often include taxes paid to schools, utility companies and municipal governments. Property taxes will usually be factored into a monthly mortgage payment, and how high (or low) taxes are can turn an affordable mortgage payment into something that can break a budget. When calculating payments, be sure to include property taxes in your estimates.
2: Job security/availability
The financial resource Fortune Builder says to consider your job security before taking the home ownership plunge. Before committing to an investment as substantial as a home, ensure that you are secure in your job. Similarly, if you are relocating for job prospects, verify that the new location has a thriving job market.
3: Local schools
For potential homeowners with children or those planning on becoming parents, area schools should merit significant consideration. Research school rankings and reviews, but know that rankings can change. American Family Insurance Company says to also look at the school budget history of towns you’re considering to see if residents prioritize funding for education. This can be a measure of how important education is in a given community.
4: Commute times
Home ownership involves both lifestyle and financial decisions. Calculate the time it will take to travel to and from work when considering a certain town or neighborhood. Find out if there is mass transit and what options are available for off-hour travel needs.
5: Lifestyle options
Quality nightlife, arts and history, community events, proximity to cultural centers or cities, and other factors are at play in choosing a home. Make sure your new community allows you to still enjoy the things you’re passionate about.
Buying a home involves considering various factors that can affect your budget and quality of life.