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House hunting – It can either be ‘love at first sight’ or take a lot of searching, but how can you make sure that a particular property is a good match for your goals and needs? This quick checklist will guide you ‘home’.

With an unlimited budget, finding and buying your perfect home would be easy. While it’s nice to dream, we need to face reality and compromise on what is 'perfect' for 'what is achievable.'

When house hunting, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Be realistic about your budget. How much deposit do you have, and how much can you afford to repay? It’s easy to go a few thousands over budget, thinking it’s not that much in the big scheme of things. But the flow-on effect can be more significant than you think.

    For example, a more expensive property usually means higher rates and insurance, as well as just the additional mortgage repayment cost. Make sure you have factored in all the 'hidden costs' of a higher value, as well as other costs like additional fuel or public transport costs, depending on location.

  2. Make a list of what you think is really, really important to you (the non-negotiables) and then decide which ones you must have when you buy your house, and which ones you can 'add in' later.

    For example, you might love the idea of an indoor-outdoor flow, but you may not find a house within budget that gives you that. Remember, bi-fold doors and decks or patios can usually be added in later on – so if the rest of the property is perfect, you could compromise on this 'must have right now'.

  3. Consider your family situation. If you have young children, buying a property with steep stairs, or a master bedroom that is quite isolated from the other bedrooms (while it might sound ideal in principal), probably isn’t ideal while your children are young.

    However, if you have older children, having this space between bedrooms is quite likely to be a positive for all the family members.

  4. Don’t forget to factor in lifestyle. If you don’t have the time for, or don’t even like, maintaining big gardens, then factoring a large outdoor area into your 'perfect' house, might not be right for you.

    While most of us like having some space and the benefits of a Kiwi summer in our backyard, you may be able to achieve the same outcome with a smaller, more easy-care space.

  5. Look for potential. As we discussed earlier, the reality is that most of us will not be able to afford to buy our 'perfect' home (even if we could find one for sale that actually matches our own individual idea of perfect), so cast a creative eye over the house you are thinking about buying, and consider whether changes can be made to make your house more ‘you.’

    It is relatively easy to change the colour of a house, but structural changes are a lot more difficult, and expensive. If your vision requires some major structural changes, check out the viability and cost of these before you sign the contract.

Finding your perfect home can be a stressful experience as you look through so many houses that are 'just not right.' However, with a little bit of planning and compromise, you can focus on looking at houses that are perfect for now and can be adapted to suit your needs and lifestyle as your budget allows.

If you’d like to talk through your home loan options and the plan to make it happen, give the RESIMAC Direct team a call.

Please note: The information in this article is of a general nature only, and is not intended to be personalised financial advice. We recommend you talk to a financial adviser before making any financial decisions. Investing in property has risks as well as benefits, and the value of your property and returns, are subject to market fluctuations.

  • Use a calculator to get an estimate of how much you can borrow. Try one here

  • See if you qualify. To get a more accurate idea of how much you can borrow with RESIMAC Direct, click here

  • Call our Lending Specialists and they can do the calculation for you over the phone plus answer any questions you have at the time. Talk to us on 0800 466 656