So the moment has arrived and the time has finally come. You’re ready to buy your forever home!
Whether it the very first time or you’re in need of an upgrade to accommodate your growing family of fur babies, or maybe you’ve just decided that you want to retire and raise goats on a little goat farm… whatever your reasons, the feelings that come with buying a new home usually involve all the same things: butterflies in the tummy, sweaty palms, and heart palpitations of pure house-buying adrenaline. It’s an exciting time! And likely one of, if not the most important financial decision you’ll ever make. I mean unless you’re a bazillion-aire, last time I checked, houses were pretty expensive and generally tend to involve a fairly high level of commitment.
So with that small point in mind, it’s quite understandable that you’ll do your fair share of umm-ing and err-ing over whether you’ve found the house that’s right for you. If you get too impulsive you might end up breaking the bank on the very first property that takes your fancy, but if you think too long and hard about it, you might lose your chance and end up back at square one again.
One thing’s for certain, it’s not a simple decision to make. So you might be wondering at this point, “how will I ever know if this is the perfect house for me?”. Good question. Let’s find you an answer:
1. You can afford it!
This might seem pretty obvious but you’d be surprised just how easy it is for a sparkly new home to make even the most financially hardened penny-pinchers to blow their entire budget and then some. So before you even start looking for homes, it’s going to be in your best interests to meticulously go through your finances and have a good solid talk with a mortgage broker. This way you’ll be able to find out exactly how much you can afford for a down payment and determine what amount you’ll be able to comfortably manage each month for mortgage repayments. Because the absolute last thing you want is to commit to the house of your dreams, only to lead a financially exhausting life working 60-hour weeks in the office when all you want to do is spend time on your goat farm.
2. You’re in love with the neighbourhood
Now unless you’re the kind of person who only leaves their house once a year (can’t miss those boxing day sales am I right?), then it’s going to be important that you like the area that you’re living in. There’s no point in buying the perfect home if it’s situated in the middle of a swamp or a bleak industrial dive, unless you like that sort of thing – which is exactly my point. You need to love where you’re going to live because as much as you love this new home you want so dearly, you’re going to have to leave it eventually. You’ll need to get milk, you’ll need to find a job, you’ll need to go to the post office, you’ll need to take your goats to the vet, etc. So if you’re just as in love with the surrounding area as you are with the house, then you can give that one an extra gold star.
3. It ticks all the boxes
Now let’s be reasonable here. When I say it ticks all the boxes, I don’t mean that it ticks all the boxes on the crazy list where you’ve written things like:
Flamingo-shaped swimming pool
A 17th century converted lighthouse
Diamante encrusted toilet
Master bedroom situated in the turret of a castle
A house made entirely out of glass
… Not that list. I’m talking more about the list which outlines everything you need in a home to live happily. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, X amount of garden space, a shed, close enough work, good schools nearby, a hospital, and community recreation. That’s the list you need to be ticking off.
This home ticks all the boxes on my personal crazy list…
4. You only have eyes for this home alone
If you go to an inspection and fall desperately, head over heels in love with a place then you’ll find that you lose complete interest in looking for anything else. Let’s be honest, there are plenty of fish in the sea. If you don’t like this house or the next one, there’s every chance that you’re going to like the next. However, if you do indeed catch a lucky break and stumble across the home of your dreams, then you’re probably not going to care about looking for anything else. You’re going to be more concerned with fantasising about where to put your favourite armchair or which room the kids are going to fight over.
But in the event that you want to play it safe and keep your options open, no matter how many other houses you to inspect, this one will just not leave your mind. Like a beautiful parasite, it will have burrowed its way into your brain and will not be going anywhere. So take this as a good omen! If you can’t stop thinking about it this incredible abode, then you two might just belong together forever.
5. Is it ideal for now and the future?
So here’s where your forward thinking is going to come in handy. This wonder-house that you’ve stumbled upon might be absolutely perfect for where you’re at at this time in your life, but will this still be true in another 2-5 years time? Unless you have a seriously dramatic change of heart the moment you move in, chances are you’ll be living in this home for a good number of years to come, so with that in mind, it’s best that you figure out if it not only meets your needs at present but will also be able to accommodate them in the future as well.
Since buying a house is a little tiny weeny bit of a commitment, you’re going to want to think ahead and try to visualise the kind of life you want to create for yourself. Are you and your partner thinking of having kids? Then you’ll want to make sure there’s an extra bedroom (kids aren’t big on sleeping in the laundry). Will you be starting any new business ventures? You might need a shed. Does your partner insist on getting a Great Dane or a pony? Then you’ll probably need a pretty adequate amount of outdoor space… especially if you’re going to home all those goats.
Finding the perfect home is a lot like finding the perfect person. You’ll become completely smitten, never want to leave, and get horrendously anxious about losing it. It’s going to be a fun and crazy ride, so enjoy it while it lasts! Just make sure you keep your wits about you though… beautiful houses may always be hiding so dirty secrets, and the best way to make sure that they’re perfect for you is to get a house inspection done on your one true love so you can know for sure that they won’t end up cheating you in the end.
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his industry knowledge, Mike and his team of experienced Builders provide an Inspection Service offering expert opinion on the true condition of buildings, including estimated repair costs, helping home buyers find their perfect property, Melbourne wide.