Your life has likely changed since you bought your home. Your career may be advancing or you may be ready to retire. You could be welcoming kids or about to become an empty nester. You may want to earn more money through an investment property or find a home with special amenities that match your lifestyle.
No matter your life stage, you can use these tips to help buy your next home.
Moving to a new area
If you’re relocating for a job or want to find a new neighborhood to live in, make sure your next home is in an area you’ll enjoy. Does it have restaurants you like to frequent or walking paths for exercise? You also should research property taxes, the cost of living and how easily you can commute to work. A local real estate agent is a great resource to use to educate you about neighborhoods that interest you. He or she can also help if you’re trying to sell your current home and buy your next one at the same time.
Ready for retirement
If you’re retired or getting ready to, buying your next home isn’t much different than buying at other life stages. The same factors are involved, such as location, type of home and amount of space, especially if you’re looking to downsize. The biggest concern to consider is cost. Most retirees live on a fixed income, so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of your mortgage payment. Get a custom rate and payment quote to help you determine your costs.
Buying a vacation home
Perhaps you want to find a second home to get away for some rest and relaxation. If you’re looking for a vacation home, be as invested in this search as you were for your primary home. Consider points of interest nearby and property amenities. Plus, you should determine how much time you plan to spend in the home and how easy or difficult it is to travel to the vacation home.
Upgrading to a larger home
You may want to move from your neighborhood to a more upscale area to reflect your lifestyle. You could be looking at properties with certain amenities, such as landscaping, a pool, more bedrooms or a finished basement. Before you buy a home with several amenities, identify your needs, such as entertaining guests, and consider how much you’ll use these amenities to justify the cost. Landscaping and pools require plenty of maintenance throughout the year and a detached garage may need additional security features or other systems.
Buying an investment or rental property
Purchasing real estate can be a lucrative way to invest your money, but it comes with risks and benefits you need to consider to make sure it’s right for you. Determine what your primary goal is—do you want cash flow in the short run or to make a long-term investment? One common misconception is that all you have to do is collect rent. There’s much more involved, such as regular maintenance, periodic updates to keep your property in high demand and the monthly mortgage payment, especially when you have a gap in tenancy.
How much home can you afford?
Take the first step and get prequalified.