Buying a home is a major investment. You buy a house and as a mother and the woman in the family, your job is to turn it into a home. This is not easy as you have to take into account several factors when making a purchase decision.
People sometime look at a property, fall in love with the interior and extra work done inside and yet pay little attention to the technical details, geographic limitations, access to amenities, the type of neighborhood and neighbours or the age of the property. If overlooked, anyone of these areas can pose a major challenge and can get you into trouble and you will regret it for a very long time.
The best person who can advise you on the purchase of a property is… yourself. The realtor is there to help you find a property, explain it to you and upon your decision make the arrangements for the sale to happen. There is a misperception that real estate agents decide what type of property you buy and can force you into making a decision in a rush manner. While it may hold true to certain instances, the onus is on you to make sure you have found the product (in this case the house) of your choice and that you have described your requirements and specifications in as a detailed fashion as possible to your agent.
Other things that you need to think about are your long term goals, financial stability and the size of your family. If you are planning to finance your new property by a bank or any other financial organization, you have to make sure you have a solid income and you may need to solicit help from a mortgage broker who will run your application across several institutions and typically find you the lowest mortgage rate and the one that is most favourable in terms of conditions with your requirements.
As the title of this article says, you should be very concerned about where you are planning to buy your house. There are some very nice properties in certain areas of town where you may not want to raise your family. Downtown is a perfect example. It is great for singles and for students, but as a parent you may find it very crowded and perhaps less convenient when it comes to space. Suburbs are great but you have to be prepared to commute if you work downtown. When it comes to the area, follow the age old advice of the realtor: location, location, location!
Make sure to check out the schools that your kids will be attending in the new area, try to get an idea about class sizes and student to teacher ratio, school rating at state/provincial level as well as get feedback from neighbours about the schools. Write down everything that your life depends upon and that you will need easy access to when you have a need. For example, write down how long do you want to travel by foot/car to purchase groceries, how far from a hospital can you afford to live, what about pharmacies, libraries and other amenities.
Also remember that certain areas of different tax codes and you may end up paying a higher property tax in an area compared to another. So make sure you take all these factors into consideration.
This is a high level view of property investment series of articles that we have started for moms. In the coming weeks and months we will publish several targetted and area specific articles that you will certainly find useful and educational. Your comments and ideas are highly appreciated.