Finding the perfect home encompasses many different things. There’s the neighborhood you choose to buy in, the amenities included in your home, and the architecture and style of the structure. One of the biggest determinations of how comfortable you’ll be, though, is the size of your home. Too big, and you’ll pay unneeded utilities
and maintenance costs. Too small, and your family will feel cramped and crowded. So the question becomes: how do you choose the right-sized home for your current and near-future needs? Use this guide as you prepare to buy Ardmore real estate.
Assess your current living situation
What do you love about where you currently live? Are there enough bedrooms for everyone? Maybe you have rooms so unused, you don’t enter for months at a time — or, you’ve got the opposite issue and can only offer overnight guests the couch. Perhaps your new job involves a lot of extended travel, and you’re paying excess utility fees on a home you’re rarely in. When you do a thorough assessment of what you like and don’t like about your current home, you can make better decisions when you finally view Ardmore condos for sale or decide between single-family homes.
Look to the future
Will your living situation significantly change in the next two years? How about the next five or ten? Many life events can change your housing needs. For example, if you have older children who will be leaving in the near future, you may want to downsize
to a condo or townhome in Ardmore or Wayne. On the other end of the spectrum, if you plan to add to your family or might have aging parents moving in with you, you might want to upsize to a single-family home. Though we can’t always know what the future will bring, you can make some pretty good assumptions based on your stage in life and family dynamics.
Dig deep into your finances
If you’re preparing to buy a townhome, condo, or single-family home in Ardmore,Wayne, Haverford or Villanova, you need to be realistic about what you can afford. Here are some considerations that should contribute to your decision:
If you currently own a home
If you already own your current home and will be buying and selling at the same time
, you’ll have the advantage of leveraging the equity in your current home toward your purchase of a new townhome or condo in Ardmore. Talk with me your Ardmore real estate agent about what you can reasonably expect out of your home sale, and how much equity you’ll have left after paying off the remainder of your mortgage. Subtract this amount from the average price of homes in the area to come up with a number that will inform your future mortgage budget.
If you are a first-time homebuyer
If you’re buying condos or townhomes in Ardmore for the first time, your situation will be a little different. Without the benefit of using equity, you’ll need to come up with the cash for a down payment and to cover closing costs on your new home. If you buy one of the median-priced single-family homes in Ardmore at $399,900
, that means $79,980 for a 20% down payment and an additional $12,000-$20,000 in closing costs. While there are options for first-time buyers that feature tax credits, low to no down payment mortgages, and assistance with closing costs, your future finances will be better off the more you pay in cash.
A first-time homebuyer also needs to put more thought into their monthly budget, as it will radically change once they own their own house. Make sure to factor in additional costs such as utilities, maintenance costs, HOA dues, and savings specifically to cover large repairs. Don’t make the mistake of overestimating what you can afford and purchasing a home that strains your finances.
Decide if size or amenities are more important
In a perfect world, you’d find plenty of single-family homes along the Main Line that are large enough for your needs, filled with all the amenities you want now and in the future. In reality, you’ll likely have to make some sacrifices in order to meet your budget. If you’re planning to buy a more expensive property than your current home, keep in mind that paying more doesn’t always have to mean more square feet. Many empty nesters will “downsize” to more expensive Ardmore or Wayne condos or townhomes which may have fewer rooms, but are filled with luxury amenities such as spa-like master baths, chef’s kitchens, or top-of-the-line appliances.
Take a look at your budget and talk with me your Main Line real estate agent about what types of homes fall into your price range. Do the smaller homes have amenities that the larger ones don’t? Which features are must-haves and which are mere wants? How much space do you really need, and what’s a nice bonus? Once you answer these questions, you can make a better decision on what type of property to buy.
If you’re buying your first home — or are upsizing or downsizing — working with an experienced Main Line real estate agent is the most important part of the process. A good agent will help you make an informed decision on which condos, townhomes, or single-family homes along the Main Line to purchase. They’ll connect you with properties that meet your unique needs and can help you sell your current home if you have one.
Ready to get started? Reach out to The MacDonald Team
, where you’ll be connected with a trusted local agent who can assist you through every step of the buying process.