You must consider many factors when choosing where you want to live. Understanding market trends is helpful, but you must also honestly assess your own home needs.
Do not fall into the trap of moving someplace you can barely afford because it seems like the popular thing to do. For example, urban apartments may be popular, but living in a rural area may better suit your personal style.
The size of your personal living space is also a decision best based on your own feelings. A large, spacious apartment is unnecessary if you live alone. However, a small apartment makes no sense if you have a large family.
Deciding what your needs actually are is challenging. It helps to make a list of your priorities. Some items on your list may be essential, but others are not as important. Compromise is almost inevitable when looking for a new home of any size.
You are unlikely to find everything you want at a price you can afford. Flexibility can help you find comfortable living quarters while still meeting your basic needs. Below is more information on how to find the best place for you.
How to Find the Best Apartment for Your Needs
In the real estate industry, location is not everything. However, it is a major factor. When you are unsure about your exact needs, selecting a preferred location gives you a starting point. Pinpoint two or three neighborhoods you like.
Begin by considering proximity to your preferred essentials, such as:
- Your workplace.
- Homes of family members.
- Shopping centers.
You can also investigate neighborhoods for safety. Crime statistics are readily available online or through local police departments. You can even check local records to see if the neighborhoods you are considering are in general states of growth. If neighborhoods are declining instead, you may want to avoid them.
After establishing your search radius, investigate specific locations, such as particular apartment complexes or condos. Use factors like general conditions and upkeep to narrow your search field. You can also meet with landlords. If certain landlords make you uncomfortable or cannot answer your questions, look for a home elsewhere.
When you find an apartment complex you like with a landlord who seems friendly, consider the apartment itself. Make sure it is the right size to suit your needs.
Also, examine its layout and location. For instance, if you have difficulty climbing stairs you can rule out apartments on upper floors. Similarly, if you have difficulty sleeping at night do not select an apartment near a popular nighttime venue, such as a bar or club.
Why Bigger Is Not Always Better in an Apartment
The phrase “bigger is better” is a part of American popular culture. However, bigger is not always better when it comes to housing. The larger the home is, the higher your rent is likely to be. It also costs more to maintain a larger space. Heating and cooling can be especially difficult, particularly if the heating and cooling systems in the apartment are outdated.
Even if it fits into your budget, a larger home may not fit into your schedule. A larger home takes more time to clean and maintain. Furnishing a larger home is also more expensive, since you have so much more space to fill.
Alternatively, a large apartment may suit your budget fine, but it still may not be the right place for you.
For instance, a home requiring you to sign a long-term lease is not ideal if you think you may want to move within a year or two. You must understand the benefits and potential drawbacks before your sign a lease on such a space. Remember, the type of home you want is not always the type of home you need.
Finding the Right Home: Factors to Consider
If you are planning to buy a home outright, you must consider multiple financial factors. Most first-time homebuyers do not intend to stay in their first home for the rest of their lives.
For these homeowners, buying a house must be treated like an investment. You must consider resale value as well as how difficult it is to sell your home in the future.
If you intend to purchase a home to live in for a long time, the potential resale value down the line may not matter to you. However, issues like neighborhood safety matter much more because this is the house where you intend to raise a family.
If you currently have children or want to start a family in the future, you also need a home suitable for your growing family. Some of the family friendly features to look for include:
- Multiple bedrooms.
- Proximity to excellent schools.
- A large, fenced in backyard.
The features you need and the features you are willing to live without depend on your needs. You must expect to make sacrifices and compromises while searching for a home. You can find a comfortable home you like in your price range when you are willing to adapt.
Remember features of the home itself may change later as well. One of the biggest perks of owning a home versus renting is you have total control over your property, so you can add items or even entire rooms when your budget allows.
If you only have a limited time to find a new home, you must factor this into your house search. You may not care if the home is lacking a few standard features if it means securing a home before your current lease is over.
However, these missing features may make selling the home much harder if you only intend to stay in the house for a few years. You may have to make these changes yourself or risk selling your house at a lower price later down the line.
When you are looking for a home try to consider your long-term goals as well as your present motivations. For example, the needs you have as a young newlywed are different than your needs when you are ready to start a family.
Considering your life stage, current and future status is essential when making your home choice. The home must suit your familial, physical and financial needs. If you intend to live in it for a long time, it must also support the growth and development of your family.