Define- prioritise your needs

Buying a home is a wise decision because property is one of the best and most secure investments available. Rarely, if ever, does real estate decrease in value. Buying a home may have significant tax advantages over home renting. Home equity is another consideration. The equity you build as your home appreciates in value will allow you to borrow for expenses like a new car or for business financing. Your home's equity is also the ideal down payment on the purchase of a second real estate property. Property is the most widely accepted collateral when it comes to lending.

Emotional advantages:

Buying a home has several emotional advantages. The independence of ownership means that you'll no longer have to worry about rent increases and the demands of a landlord. Another advantage is a homeowner's power to personalize! When you own your own home, you can paint and decorate as much as you want and any way you like. It's your place!

Defining your housing needs

What should your dream house look like? What are the features you must have at any cost? The bottom line is this: your housing needs will be unique. The house that you would eventually choose should depend on a host of factors - the size of your family, commuting time to work, availability of and access to infrastructural facilities such as schools, parks, shopping centres and hospitals. What people seek from homes often gets tempered with age, specifically the number of working year's left and budgetary constraints. This especially happens when other life goals such as children's education or retirement compete for limited financial resources. Family size and composition also play a significant role in determining the type of house an individual would like to live in. Another important criterion is security; 30 years ago this was a non-issue but today it is a non-negotiable. Furthermore, with the emergence of the nuclear family, the emphasis seems to have shifted from the quantity to the quality of hassle-free services. People are increasingly opting for apartments primarily because they provide comprehensive services and have in-house leisure facilities that cater to the needs of children, adults and senior citizens.

Prioritizing your housing needs

You will no doubt have a long wish list of attributes for your house. However, you will not find a house that meets all your requirements. Since this is probably the biggest investment of your life, it pays to devote some time to identifying your needs and prioritize them. You have to classify your requirements as follows: essential, desirable and bonus. This would help you understand the trade-offs between various options. For instance, one home option may mean that your child's school would be nearby and the office commute for your spouse would be very less. However, your commuting time to your workplace might go up substantially. Another home option might offer you a Jacuzzi, which may not be a priority for you, while another cheaper option might offer features that are essential. Prioritizing needs will help make decision-making easier.

Housing needs change

Ideas and priorities related to housing needs change with age and individual circumstances. While the above exercise will help you in understand your specific needs better, it is also important to think about how your needs might change over time. Do this as an exercise: ask yourself what a man's housing needs would be when he's in his 20's, the 30's, the 40's and in retirement. Now think of yourself 10 years, 20 years from now and the circumstances you may find yourself in. Factor such things into your decision.

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