They say that home is where the heart is, and in most respects that’s true; however, it can also be where your head and your lifestyle are. In such an incredibly competitive housing market, with more and more first-time buyers staking their claim to properties in New Jersey, many are looking at price and location without actually thinking about the type of home they’re considering. When it comes to homeownership, who you are directly informs where and how you live. While there are pros and cons to everything, there are two things you should reconcile about yourself before pulling the trigger and signing on the dotted line.
Current Lifestyle Situation
It’s obvious that a family of four probably isn’t about to move into or even consider a one-bedroom apartment; however, what about the single professional who’s eyeing that two-family home in the suburbs just because they can get a good deal on it? While you may get the property for a song (or at least a mini-symphony), are you really prepared to maintain such a large property by yourself? And do you really need all that space? Generally, you don’t grow into a house; you grow out of one. If your situation changes, perhaps that’s the best time to start thinking about expansion.
How Much Can You Afford per Month?
Be realistic here. We aren’t talking about being “house poor”; rather, we are talking about how much you can afford while still living comfortably. One of the downsides of living in townhouses or condos is that they come with Homeowners Association (HOA) fees that can torpedo your monthly budget. Some of these fees can be as much as an extra $1,000 per month, so in certain cases it may actually pay to look for a single-family home with no additional fees and low property taxes. Even if the HOA fees start off low, they can always go up from year to year.
No matter what kind of home you’re interested in, a qualified realtor and an experienced real estate lawyer can help you decide if the home you’re eyeing is worth the headache and guide you through the homebuying process.
Joel R. Spivack, Esq. is committed to helping clients buy and sell their homes in South Jersey. Our experienced real estate lawyers are also well versed in leasing law, so you can rely on us to handle leasing documents, landlord/tenant disputes and more. Call us today for a free consultation.