Costs and Value Benefits of Owning a Home
There is no doubt that one of the more pleasant and exciting times for most people is when they have decided to buy a home. This excitement exists whether or not you are buying for the first time or the fourteenth time.
The experienced home buyer has a relatively good idea as to what it costs to buy a home today. However if it has been a long time since you last bought a home, you may have forgotten or not be aware of the associated or hidden costs involved. A lot of people think of the basic costs as legal fees, property tax adjustments, GST in some cases, the cost of movers, the set-up fees for utilities, new window coverings, etc. First timers should also consider home maintenance costs, like tools, a lawn mower, etc. Beyond the basic costs, are major cost factors like replacing flooring and roofs, or making renovations. These costs may be necessary to give you everything you want from your new home.
On the opposite side, some buyers may gain a cost benefit from buying a new home. You could buy in a development that has a fitness centre, or a swimming pool. This means no more fitness club dues or transportation worries. Some developments offer more luxurious features like golf privileges or skiing benefits.
Just as the above features offer you financial and non-financial benefits; there are non-financial costs to look for when buying your house.
A feature you must seriously consider when buying a home is its location, location matters! Look at location from many view points and perceptions. A suggested question would be: where am I going to live relative to _________?
The relative to "what" includes work (my work, my spouses work), established leisure activities (golf membership, hiking trails, night school courses, children's ballet or music classes), children school or daycare, proximity to family, best friends or the old neighbourhood.
Now to create a more interesting but realistic scenario, take all of the above factors and try to determine the likely disruptions to a perfect schedule.
How often do you or your spouse have to work late or work unusual hours? Does this mean that the public transit you plan to take at commuter time, is only viable 50% of the time? Does this mean that little Mary or John may have to miss a lot of soccer practices, or other activities that they enjoy?
Is the commuting experience likely to leave you too tired (physically or emotionally), when you get home?
How important is the ease of transportation for you, to be able to leave work to pick-up your sick child at school or at daycare?
If grandma or grandpa is in weak health; is being close by a true comfort?
Will you need to make new friends because you will only see our old ones at holiday occasions?
In summary; when buying a home, consider the value of your purchase in relation to the emotional costs imbedded in that purchase. Does a house 25 miles away from where you spend most of your waking hours (at work and with friends) have a non-financial cost?
Is being anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes away (depending upon traffic volumes) from a valued and trusted daycare for your child a reasonable cost for you to deal with?
When you buy a home you want to be happy and satisfied on all counts, of which money is only one.