Dreaming Big: What’s Important to You in a New Property?
When it comes to property-seeking, it’s always an advantage if you know what you want and where you want it. But understanding your own preferences can be a challenge in itself and sometimes it helps to review the options first - here are some key things to consider before you begin.
The importance of location when scouting for a new property remains king. Depending on where you are, you might have better access to areas of natural beauty, exclusive communities and loved ones. The location also affects your commute into work (if you’re not remote working) - determining whether you can get in on short notice and how much free time you have outside of hours. In 2020, the average commute time was 27 minutes - adding up to 4.5 hours in a typical working week. It’s always worth asking, ‘is the location worth the hours you’ll lose?’
Location still plays the most crucial role in house pricing. When you buy a property, you’re not only picking out somewhere to live but also making an investment. Understanding the market is vital for ensuring gains - depending on centrality, neighbors, and local attractions, a house may or may not appreciate in value. Try to be conscious, not just of traditional advantages (e.g. weather) but also of the influence of current affairs (e.g. covid & garden space).
Knowing your tastes in property type will help you to pick out a home that you enjoy for years. It might be that you’re more interested in renting than buying - this is often because you want greater flexibility or you’re saving for a premium property. Lenders will usually calculate your debt-to-income ratio to determine how much you can realistically pay on a monthly mortgage. You can calculate your debt-to-income ratio by adding up your existing monthly debt obligations and dividing this total by your gross monthly income.
The composition of a property greatly affects your quality of living. Sometimes, it’s even possible to buy too big and regret this later. A minimalist mentality can help you to strike a balance between size and practicality. You may also want to seek out an eco-property that contributes less CO2 and recycles its own energy.
Once you’ve outlined your tastes in location and property type, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Home functionality is often low down in buyer preferences but it’s important that you move into a home that works for you! Sometimes, the most resplendent homes can be found lacking in simple utilities - failure to research can mean the bothersome renovations fall on your shoulders. Always try to factor in state-of-the-art plumbing, electricity, counter space, storage space, material types, and other simple utilities. Try as well to think about your own individual requirements - is security important to you? Look for somewhere with smart security systems. Do you love to entertain guests? Consider properties with cigar or cinema rooms.
It’s useful to remember that, depending on buyer trends, a seemingly frivolous purchase may represent a great investment. Do you want somewhere with a home sauna, a walk-in wardrobe? Although these features may appear excessive, over time, they may also pay off themselves. You could even consider purchasing somewhere in need of a few upgrades. A full luxury kitchen remodel, for example, is likely to provide an 81.8% return on investment.
There are no hard and fast rules for picking a property but it often helps to dream big and act practically. Before you enter the market, always do your best to research online and think about what is most important (and luxurious) to you.
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