The search for a perfect house starts out like a thrilling adventure. You’re moving on to the next stage in your life, and once you find the right home, all the fun of your new season can start.
But all these questions arise as you check out the places that meet most of your criteria.
How do you know when it’s really the right place? Is it a money pit waiting to happen? Will you really be happy there for the foreseeable future? Will you be able to sell it later if you decide to move?
All of these questions are smart ones to ask. It’s not always an “aha!” moment when you cross the threshold into the perfect home.
But you’ll know the house is just right for you if you consider these nine factors.
1. It Fits Your Budget
The very first, and most important, part of buying a house is financial common sense. If the monthly payments will be outside your budget, you need to keep looking.
When you’re doing the math to see what you can afford, it’s not just about the home’s price. You’ll be paying interest, insurance, property taxes, and other add-ons.
Don’t start searching until after you’ve talked to a lender and have a ballpark figure of what your budget can handle, including extras. Then, you can take that number and give it to your agent or use it to narrow down your search.
There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect home outside of your budget. You’d then be tempted to figure out a way to be able to afford it, which will ultimately make you a lot more stressed than you need to be.
2. The Location Makes Sense
If you’re going to be living somewhere for years, it needs to be a place conveniently accessible to your common destinations. It doesn’t have to be a specific neighborhood. But unless you want it that way, it shouldn’t be in the boondocks.
Most people look for houses that are close to their job, schools, and grocery stores. Wherever you go the most, you should find a home in a location that makes sense.
However, sometimes it’s easier to find property in the right area but not a traditional home that you love. In that case, you could consider buying land and having a manufactured home placed on it.
Site-built homes were once the most common types of housing. Manufactured houses have quickly gained in popularity thanks to the changes that have made them strong and durable, as well as the other benefits.
It’s tempting to be able to pick and choose the details of your brand new home instead of buying someone else’s used design or waiting years to have one built.
Whichever you prefer, traditional or manufactured, when the location is right, the house is closer to perfect.
3. It Fits Most of Your Checklist
We all know not to look at a home that doesn’t fit our main criteria. If you want a safe neighborhood, for instance, you’re not going to look in an area that you know is crime-ridden.
Looking for everything on your checklist can be asking too much, though. Know when to compromise and when to hold out for the right home.
Most of your standards should be met, yes. But maybe you’re looking for a three-bedroom and you find a two-bedroom that can be converted into a three without a lot of headache.
If everything else is perfect, consider the return on your investment that you’ll get. The house will probably be cheaper and adding an extra room later will boost your home’s value.
4. You Still Have Money in Your Pocket
A house you can afford doesn’t mean you should buy it. If it takes up all the leftover room in your budget, leaving you staying home every night for the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.
The right house is going to be affordable, fitting comfortably in your monthly bills without costing you every penny you have. You’ll be able to continue living in your current lifestyle for the most part.
5. You Just Feel Good About Being There
When you find yourself enjoying touring the home and not wanting to leave, there’s a reason. If being there when it’s not your own makes you feel that good, imagine how you’ll feel making it yours?
As the owner, you can personalize each room.
Right now, looking around, are you imagining all the possibilities? Do they excite you? Do you want to come back right away, or swoop in and nab the place before someone else does?
Those are all signs that the house could be meant to be your perfect fit.
6. Everyone Else Likes It, Too
Your family also has to live there, so they should have some say in the choice. When you’ve narrowed down your selection to your top three picks, do more walk-throughs with the people who can help you decide.
We all know those individuals who find problems everywhere. Take their opinions with a grain of salt, but listen to those who you respect. They may see things you’re missing.
When everyone agrees, for the most part, on the same home, that’s a great sign!
7. You Can Grow With It
We don’t have a crystal ball, but you know your future goals for the most part. Will the house be able to grow with you as your goals change?
If you’re planning on expanding your family, will you need more space? Would it be possible to easily add another room if so? Do you need a lot of storage? Will you want an office?
Consider your future hopes and dreams. The perfect house will grow with them.
8. It’s Safe and Sound
Safety really should come first. In the case of buying a house, though, you don’t want to invest time and money into a home inspection until you know the rest of the factors fit.
Safe homes have good roofs and foundations. They have a lot of ways out in case of an emergency, and they’re not built on flood zones or in dangerous weather-prone places.
When you’re house hunting and you think you’ve found your dream place, it’s time to request a safety evaluation. If it comes back structurally safe and sound, you’ve got another reason to fall in love with the place.
9. You Can’t Wait to Invite People Over
Are you already dreaming of the fun you’ll have when you throw your housewarming party or have dinner guests?
If you can picture a warm, friendly atmosphere and are ready to bring your friends and family over ASAP, you’re on the right track.
On the other hand, when it seems like you’re going to have to do a lot of remodeling and fixing the place up before you let anyone see it, it’s time to keep looking.
Like anything that’s meant to be, you shouldn’t have to force the right home to fit you. Do your legwork ahead of time so you know what your budget is and what you absolutely want and won’t settle for less on.
Then, be patient and keep searching. Eventually, the right home will fit all these factors and you’ll be completely happy with your investment.