How To Buy a Home Without Destroying Your Lifestyle

It’s no secret that getting on the property ladder is an expensive ordeal, and will affect your finances no matter how steps you take. However, it doesn’t have to have as big of an impact as you might imagine, providing you undertake the process with care and consideration. Indeed, if you do this, then you’ll not only find that buying a home is less stressful than you thought, but that you also have enough money in your back pocket to maintain your usual lifestyle. Because believe it or not, buying a property doesn’t have to drain all of your money from your bank account!

Buy Only What You Need

Take a look at people’s home buying process, and an obvious flaw will quickly become apparent. What tends to happen is that people figure out what the biggest house they can buy is, and then buy it. But let’s rethink this: is it better to have a large home and no money, or a home that suits your needs and have some extra cash in the bank account? You might think it’ll be a good thing to have a large home to play around it, but that novelty will wear off pretty quickly, while those high monthly payments will be around for years. Before beginning your property search, think carefully about what you need your next home to have, and then use that to guide your search – not how much money you could spend.

Emphasize the Area

You’re not really buying a house. Well, you are, but that’s only half of what you’re buying: the other half is the area around the house. A mansion would be worth a lot if it overlooked Los Angeles; it’d be worth next to nothing if it were located in the middle of the Sahara Desert. While you will normally pay more money for a home in an area that has a lot of going on, it’s sometimes worth paying the extra. Why? Because you’ll save money in other ways, in the long term. A house that’s near to the beach offers a plethora of free activities and will invite a high standard of living. A house far away from events and activities would be cheaper, but if they form a bit part of your lifestyle, then you’re going to spend a lot of money travelling to and from the action areas.

Consider Your Interests

In this vein, it’s worth considering how much time you’re going to want to spend in your home. It’s about your interests. Remember, the key is to find a home that maintains your lifestyle, and if a big part of your lifestyle is painting at home, then you’ll want to have space to paint, right? Getting on the property ladder isn’t inherently positive; it’s only positive if you don’t have sacrifice too much to get yourself there. If you’re able to find a home that naturally allows you to do the things you love, then that would be a wise investment.

Focus Your Needs

Alongside your wants, you should focus on your needs. For example, if you have a family, then you need to think about the nearby schools. You need to think about the proximity to your work. If you’re spending two hours a day travelling to and from work, then it’s clear to see how that’s going to impact your lifestyle negatively.

Figure Out What You Can Afford, and Stick to It

The cardinal sin commitment by most new homeowners is overspending on a property that they thought they could afford. Before taking out on a mortgage, it’s imperative that you use a loan calculator to work out what your monthly home payments are going to be. Once you have that number, combine it with your other outgoings, and then look at your total expenses for the month. If it makes your eyes water, then there’s getting around it: the house is going to be too expensive for you. There’s always the temptation to pay a little bit more than planned if you really love a home, but remember: that extra cost could, potentially, follow you around for decades. Ultimately, buying a home that you know you can comfortably afford is the best way to ensure your lifestyle doesn’t fall through the floor once you’re a homeowner.

Remember the Add-On Costs

The cost of the house and your mortgage is only the beginning of your expenses. There’s much more than you need to keep in mind; for example, the cost of moving, of decorating, or repairing any issues that the house may have. You won’t have a robust calculation for how much all of this is going to cost before you move in, so the best thing you can is be prepared by factoring in miscellaneous costs in your budget. There are people who have bought a house that they thought they could afford, only to realise that all the work it needed meant it was going to be years before they could begin saving money for other things.

Save More Money

Of course, one of the best ways to avoid overspending on your home is to build up your savings before you purchase it. The more money you have for your deposit, the lower your mortgage payments are going to be. You’ll need to show a lot of patience to continue saving more money than what most people save for their deposit, but you’ll feel the benefits when you’re paying a monthly mortgage payment that’s much less than what most people pay.

Make it a Home You Love

Finally, if your goal is to have a home and a terrific lifestyle, then there’s only one thing that’ll ensure you get both: creating a home that you love, and which actively contributes to your lifestyle. For example, any home with a well-planned garden and BBQ set will always give its owners a good quality of life. Remember: owning your own home is your chance to create your own lifestyle!

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