The 5 most important considerations for buying the perfect home

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a home. We're here to guide you through the process.

The 5 most important considerations for buying the perfect home

If you're thinking about making the jump from renting to owning, congratulations! Purchasing a home is major life and financial milestone. It's also a major decision, and for most people the largest investment they will ever make. There are many factors to consider, and it’s important to take time to understand your needs and evaluate your options. We're here to guide you through the process.


For most buyers, the first thing to consider is your budget. Determining your budget not only helps you narrow your home search, it also ensures you don’t end up overspending and facing financial difficulties down the road.

There are many home affordability calculators available online to get started, but the most accurate picture you’ll want to begin speaking to lenders. It’s also important to recognize that a lender may be willing to lend more money than you’re comfortable with, so consider determining your comfort zone and maximum monthly payment budget. If you’re a first-time home buyer you should also be aware of the additional costs that come with homeownership, such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.

Once you have your target budget, it can be helpful to clarify your home requirements. You may find it helpful to consider how you use your current home or apartment, or conversely what you feel like your current living situation lacks. Start by listing out what’s an essential need, and what’s a nice-to-have. If you’re like most buyers, you’ll need to make some tradeoffs on your wish list in order to accommodate your budget. Spending time at the outset of your search to understand your goals can help to keep you on track and on budget.

Location and neighborhood

After determining your budget, the most important consideration for most people is location. As the saying goes, the three most important elements of a property are location, location, location. A home’s location influences its value and desirability more than almost any other measure because while you can renovate or update a home, the property location is fixed. Think about what’s most important to you, this may include criteria such as proximity to schools and school ratings, daily commute, public transportation, parks and other open spaces, as well as nearby businesses and amenities.

Other location considerations:

  • Where a home is located on its lot can make a big difference. Consider how close to the street you are, how close are your neighbors, and the orientation of the structure.
  • Home orientation can significantly impact the amount of natural light you get and even affect your heating and cooling costs.
  • Neighborhood make-up, single family homes, mixed residential or mixed residential and commercial.
  • Future growth and development in the area, and how it may impact your home and property value

Home size and layout

The size and layout of any property you’re considering are important factors. Think about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, as well as the overall square footage of the property. Additionally, the layout of the property and how it will accommodate your current and future needs is important. For example, if you plan to start a family or host guests, you will want to make sure the property has enough space and the right layout to accommodate those needs.

Other size and layout considerations:

  • Room flow makes a considerable difference for how you use your space. Do you want an open floor plan, somewhat open, or more a traditional separate and formal floor plan?
  • Preference or need for a single-story or multi-story home and how various rooms and living spaces are allocated across floors.
  • Think about where you spend most of your time and how you want to use your space. Is a large chef’s kitchen more valuable to you, or would you prefer a spa-like master bath to retreat to in the evening?
  • Ceiling height can have a big impact on how your space feels, do you want standard or higher ceilings, perhaps some rooms matter more than others

Home Features

Look outside your home to consider other features that are important to you. For example, the size and condition of the yard may be important factors for those who enjoy gardening or outdoor activities. Understand if there are other features that you desire or require such as a swimming pool, guest house or workshop that can add value and convenience to your home.

Home features to consider:

  • What kind of outdoor space do you want. If yard space is important to you, understand for what purpose and if it matters whether that space is in the front or back of the house. Keep in mind that larger yards typically come with greater landscaping and yard maintenance needs!
  • Parking can be an overlooked, but important aspect of your home. Consider how many cars you have and any requirements for off-street parking.
  • Any additional storage needs inside or outside your home.
  • How important a view is to you, and if you have preferences for city, water or territorial views.

Home Condition

The condition of the property you’re considering purchasing is an important factor to consider. Before making an offer, be sure to have the property inspected by a professional to identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed. The cost of repairs could significantly add to the ownership cost, livability and future home value.

Condition considerations:

  • Understand your willingness and ability to undertake the time and cost of any needed repairs
  • What repairs are necessary for structural integrity or to mitigate further damage vs. more cosmetic items.
  • What kind of lifespan do the homes’ major appliances have (hot water heater, furnace, refrigerator, oven/stove, etc.)
  • How many years are left in the life of the current roof
  • Ensure any existing work, updates or additions to the home have appropriate permitting and have been done to code.

Finally, when it comes to making an offer on your desired home, it’s essential to carefully consider the terms of the purchase agreement. The purchase agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms of the sale, including the purchase price, closing costs, and any contingencies. It is important to thoroughly review the contract and understand all of its terms before signing.

Purchasing a home is a big financial and life decision that requires careful consideration. There are many factors to consider, but now you’re armed with a framework for finding a home that will truly satisfy your needs. Good luck!