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There are lots of things that can help influence people’s decisions to buy a home. Among the top priorities for most home buyers are the location, price and quality of the home, but are you thinking your priorities through rationally? I came across an interesting article on lesswrong.com about rational home buying and thought it provided some great tips worth sharing that can help anyone looking at buying a home.
Most people choose a location based on areas they know and feel comfortable with, or because they can afford to buy in the area, but people should remember to factor in their lifestyles too.
Do you have a family, or do you plan on having one in the future? If so, then an area close to schools and parks should be high on the consideration list. Also think about where you work or if you like spending nights out on the town. If you do then you should probably consider home options near city centres, because while you may be able to buy cheaper further out, you may not end up being happy with your home choice.
According to the Rational Home Buying article, people should pay particular attention to their daily commute. People who have long daily commutes to work have been found to be generally less happy, and for anybody who does or has had to endure long daily commutes, I’m sure you will agree that it takes away much needed time in the day and it is just plain exhausting!
Remember when buying, that where you live becomes a big factor in how you live your day to day life, so think carefully about the location you choose and try not to be swayed into buying something cheaper if you know you ultimately won’t be happy living there.
The biggest factor for most homebuyers is cost. Houses are expensive and so people can only buy what they can afford. But because homes are already expensive, people may discount a few extra thousand dollars as not being that significant and may choose a home they slightly prefer even if it is thousands of dollars more.
As mentioned in the previous point, it is important to buy a home that you’re happy with, but before you spend more money on a home, ask yourself if the extra money spent will give you that much extra value. If you want to spend an extra $10,000 on a home because you like the colour scheme better or because the bathroom is nicer, ask yourself if these things are really worth the extra money. Could you fix these things yourself for less? Ten thousand dollars might not seem like a lot in the scheme of a house, but every thousand dollars you save is significant money in your day to day life.
Do You Really Need It?
Pools, cinema rooms, spare bedrooms – they all sound great, but do you really need them? There are a lot of extras that come with homes that sound great, but before you fall in love with them, ask yourself whether or not you will even use that extra home feature you payed so much for. While pools for instance sound great, how much will you even use it? Would you be better off paying more money for a home that has what you actually do need (even if it doesn’t seem as exciting in your head) such as an extra bathroom or a garage? Think about your priorities and don’t get carried out with fancy home features that are fun to imagine but probably not as important to your day-to-day living.
Go With Your Gut
An interesting part of the lesswrong.com article pointed out that over-thinking and over-shopping can lead to less satisfaction in your final home decision. The lesson here is to go with your gut instinct and choose a home that you know will make you happy.
Don’t try to compare or explain why you like the house you do, because as said in the article, this can make you focus on the details that are easier to explain in words rather than on the features that are actually important to you.
Only you will know what it is that will make a house a home for you, and while some of the points above may not be practical for your situation, they certainly provide some food for thought.
If you are trying to choose a new home, I strongly recommend reading the article on Rational Home Buying, as it may help give you a clearer picture of the home that will ultimately make you happy.
I’m interested to hear what factors have influenced other people’s decisions to buy a home, so please share your stories here.