Purchasing a property is a long-term investment. On average, depending on the phase of the market and external influences, it can take around five years to see real returns on a property investment. As a result, people are staying in their home longer than they have in the past, so it is vital to select the right property that meets your lifestyle both now and in the future.
While every property purchase should be seen as an investment, and careful consideration should to be given to aspects that could impact the home’s appreciation value over the long term, not everyone buys a home purely for its potential returns. If the home is your primary residence, you will actually live in it and it needs to fit in with your lifestyle. It’s one thing to consider the list of features the home has on offer, but what about the experience of living in the home and how that will affect your day-to-day life? An investor who is buying a property as part of the portfolio will be primarily concerned with the home’s resale potential, however, the motivation for purchasing a particular property will be more emotionally driven for most homebuyers. In certain instances, focusing only on the home’s potential return on investment can be a mistake.
How do you intend to live in the space?
A question that buyers need to ask themselves when looking at a potential home is how they plan on using and living in the property. If you know the answer to this question, you will know whether a property will fit in with your lifestyle and suit your needs for the time you stay in it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Consider the things you like to do during the weekends or when you have free time in the evenings. Do you enjoy going to nice restaurants, or is eating and entertaining at home more important to you? These aspects will help you to assess whether a property or a neighbourhood is the right fit. It’s about learning to read the house and knowing what you are looking for.
Could your plans change and develop in time?
When looking at a home, try to think long term and how your lifestyle could change over the next few years. It is not possible to tell exactly what may lie ahead in the future, but its vital to consider your future aspirations and how things could develop over time. For example, you may not have children at the moment, but you are planning to in the future, so proximity to outstanding schools would be something to think about. It is good to be prepared and plan for what is likely to happen and perhaps for a few things that aren’t.
Function, cost and enjoyment
When looking at a property, there are three main aspects to think about: the functionality of the home, the cost and the enjoyment. Function relates to the practical elements of the home - such as the number of bedrooms and the commute to work. The cost is the price paid for the home, along with all other costs involved in the property transaction and day-to-day costs of owning the home. Enjoyment relates to the lifestyle offering and what you would get out of living in the property. Mixing enjoyment into the equation will assist in balancing out function and cost and will help you make the right decision.
The enjoyment aspect will be dependent on your unique partialities. Perhaps the home is ideally positioned to your favourite restaurant or pub, it could be the view or amazing garden – it will all depend on you and what you want and enjoy. Everyone will have varying elements that appeal specifically to them. If you love the house you buy, you are purchasing more than just bricks and mortar - you are buying a home.
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