Purchasing a new home is a major decision, no matter if it’s your first time or your 10th. Homes can either tie up a significant amount of cash, or lock you into a multi-year mortgage. Homeownership is a commitment as you need to keep it in good condition, pay taxes and utilities, and handle any repairs the property might need. When you take all of these factors into consideration, you realize that you need to think about your decision to purchase property carefully.

Is buying a new home a good decision for you right now?

If you are purchasing a home to live in, it’s not always easy to remain objective as it is a very personal decision. Your home is the center of your life and provides shelter to you and your family. If you are purchasing a home as an investment property, there are a number of factors to consider as you start or grow your portfolio. Getting advice from an unbiased third-party will help you understand the full impact of your decision. A real estate agent can step in and guide you throughout the process which can tend to be overwhelming at times. An agent will discuss a number of points, including the ones mentioned below:

What are you looking for in your home?

Most people have a vague idea of what they want their dream home to be like or what they want to obtain from an investment property. Some people want a big backyard, some want a pool, and others prefer lower-maintenance condos in the city, while some people want a quick ROI. It’s important to determine what you’re looking for in a home or investment before you speak with a real estate agent.

Are your expectations in line with reality?

You might have a dream home but can you afford or maintain it? As mentioned before, homes require a commitment along with care and attention. If you purchase a property with a big backyard, do you have the time or the money to maintain that yard? If you purchase an investment property to rent out, are you going to be handling the tenants needs or will you hire a project manager? You need to see how your home fits into your lifestyle before you commit to a purchase.

Do you understand which fees and other financial obligations are applicable?

A home purchase doesn’t just include the cost of the house, but also a number of related expenses. You need to have enough money to provide the down payment, pay legal fees to the lawyers who prepare the paperwork, pay for inspections, etc.

As with most things in life, a little advanced planning goes a long way. If you understand your expectations, requirements, and are properly prepared, you can make the right decision with regards to your purchase.