Beyond Back-of-the-Envelope: New Home Affordability

           You want your approach to finding a new home in Big Rapids to be at least somewhat hard-headed and businesslike.   The financial stakes are certainly major, and to some extent, much of what your future lifestyle will be like will depend on making a good choice.

This is not to totally discount the emotional component that’s inevitably part of finding your new Big Rapids home.   You do want your family to feel good about the final choice — you’ll be moving to the dwelling that will become everybody’s center of operations.

So if your repeat visit begins to convince you that this really is the place you’ve been hoping to find, it’s the appropriate time to take a step back to do your most hard-headed, businesslike projection.   This is beyond the back-of-the-envelope kind of calculation (the one that originally guided the price range you gave to your Realtor).   This is time to take everything into account to see how well this new Big Rapids  home truly fits — on a number of counts.

A new home’s true affordability begins with the banker’s basic price formula — purchase price, mortgage, insurance and taxes.   You should also contemplate the cost of having the property inspected and the closing costs (your Realtor® can give you a close estimate).   But that’s not the whole picture — a new home’s true affordability also incorporates the difference between your family’s current expense profile and any factors that will change it.

For instance, if the square footage of the new home greater, you can expect that simple maintenance costs will rise proportionately (unless the new home’s condition is a good deal better than your current one).   Utility costs may rise, too, if the living space is greater — unless more efficient systems are in place.

If the location will necessitate a change in driving distance or other transportation expenses, they should be taken into account.   Does the new place have a significantly larger lawn or other landscaping features?  ­ If you have a green thumb and enjoy getting that kind of outdoor exercise (IOW, mowing), that won’t have much effect.   If not, you’d better factor in a gardener’s bill.

There is one other element that’s easy to overlook, but accounting for it can eliminate the possibility that the whole move results in an unexpectedly depleted bank balance.   Most people who are moving into a terrific new home forget to fully account for the few changes they’ll need to make before the place is perfectly suited their family.   These could be minor, like changing out a light fixture that doesn’t fit the dining room table.   Or they could be major, like addressing wholesale décor clashes that call for choosing between repainting the walls — or reupholstering —  or even purchasing new furniture!

Helping you make sure your new Big Rapids home is a comfortable match for your family’s needs is a large part of the service I provide my buyers.   If you are ready to take a look at the latest crop of Big Rapids new home offerings, I’ll be standing by for your call!­

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Terry Reeves

Terry Reeves

Real Estate Professional
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