Hunting for your ideal home isn't a walk in the park. You're making a long-term commitment here. You need to get realistic with your budget and your needs while ensuring you're emotionally connected with the property. That said, it's normal to overthink and keep on exploring options before making a deal.
But how do you really know when to stop looking and finally think about buying the house? How can you say you've found the perfect home that suits your current and future lifestyle? Here are 10 telltale signs to consider.
1. The home ticks off some essential boxes
Before we become too personal with this home buying thing, let’s talk about some essential qualifications your new home needs to pass:
- Inspect vital components. Check anything that would be expensive if it needed to be replaced or repaired. Some of the components to check for damage or disrepair include the roof, windows, and the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC).
- Check the plumbing. While it’s not the most attractive aspect, it pays to check if it’s in an optimal condition. Look under the sinks and behind toilets for signs of leaks. Check for mildew smell and discoloration of walls and ceilings.
- Test everything. Test the light switches, faucets, and showers, toilet flushes to make sure they’re all working. You should taste and smell the tap water too.
- Ensure the location is safe. Do your homework. Is it near a pond, river, or any water form that may put the house at risk in cases of storm and flooding? Is it situated in a fault line? How about the proximity of your home to the nearest hospital, police station, and fire station?
2. The location fits your lifestyle
You don’t see any deal-breakers nearby, like a railroad, garbage dump, or piggery. It’s not situated in a hazardous location prone to earthquakes, flood, and fire. There are accessible commercial areas, like shopping centers, restaurants, grocery stores, churches, hospitals, and schools, for your lifestyle needs. The work-home commute is easy too.
It may not be as big as your dream house, but it’s standing in a location you’d love to come home to. Money-wise, you want your home’s value over time and a great location is one crucial factor for appraising.
3. The price and payment mode suit your budget
This is a no-brainer, because we’re all limited by how much house can we reasonably afford, right? While you’re unlikely to pay everything up front, go for a home with a mortgage you can comfortably keep up with. How much debt can you realistically afford to pay back without sacrificing the quality of life?
4. The homeowner’s association is favorable
This can be an afterthought but the community’s homeowner’s association can make or break your overall satisfaction.
Ask your real estate agent about the HOA’s conditions and restrictions. Are you allowed to paint the façade of your home? Will there be fees for maintenance and access to amenities? Can you park a car in the driveway if you don’t have a garage?
If the rules are too conflicting with your lifestyle, you can always look elsewhere.
5. The house embraces you the moment you step in
They say that you shouldn't let emotions take the wheel when buying a house. But after you've ticked off the essential boxes, it's okay to trust your gut.
If a house feels like home, then it probably is.
The right house makes you feel warm and comforting after just a few seconds of entering. You want to establish a life in that home. It's easy to imagine yourself cooking in the kitchen, watching your favorite series on that sofa, and bringing friends over.
6. It has everything you need
When listing down your needs and wants, think about your lifestyle.
Do you really spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Do you regularly host social gatherings which would require a bigger living room? Are you a gardening buff who’ll need lots of yard space? Do you have a car? Having a list helps point you in the right direction.
A home that fits your basic needs makes you contented. The overall living space is adequate and it has enough rooms for the whole family. The kitchen isn’t that huge but it’s enough for a family of three. There’s an adequate backyard for planting fruits, veggies, and flowers.
7. You envision furniture arrangement
In your head, you map out your furniture arrangement. You inspect the house from the living room to the bedrooms and scan every nook and cranny.
You imagine what kind of couch would be ideal, whether it’s a standard three-seater or an L-shape. You look up and think of the best statement light fixture to adorn the ceiling. You feel excited about moving in and buying new furniture pieces for your new home.
8. You’re possessive about the house
You defend the minor flaws other people see, saying it’s a fixable small issue. You can’t imagine the house getting sold to anyone else. You envision yourself living in that house, and you want to decorate it as soon as possible.
9. Other homes pale in comparison
When you’ve found the right house for you, all of the other homes you’ve checked out in the past no longer appeal to you. You don’t want to see the other homes in your house hunting list either. It’s just that good.
10. Your idea of a “dream home” becomes insignificant
Everyone has their own concept of what a “dream house” looks like – perhaps a spacious, all-white modern kit home with high ceilings, jaw-dropping staircases, big kitchen, multiple rooms, home theater, and sprawling patio and garden.
You know you’ve found your “home” when all these dreamy home features become irrelevant. Instead, you become realistic. You adjust your expectations and go for an affordable place that meets your everyday needs in terms of location, safety, size, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is a daytime writer for PAAL Kit Homes, a renowned construction company that specializes in manufacturing and supplying top-quality steel-framed kit homes in Australia. She loves writing articles focused in real estate and interior design.