What makes your property affordable?
It is the most important question prospecting home-buyers need to ask themselves. Is a property affordable because you can find a price tag that matches your finances? While this would seem like an obvious answer, you’d be surprised to know that there’s more to affordability than meets the eye. Indeed, some houses can encourage high expenses, whether these are lifestyle or home-maintenance related. When the home is the underlying reason for your spending, regardless of what you buy, then it’s an indication that your home isn’t as affordable as it first seemed.
Does your home cost more money than it should? Once you begin to define affordability in terms of how much the property contributes to your expenses, you can suddenly discover a hidden world of money loss even long after purchase. We’ll assume that the property requires no repair work and is built to modern energy efficiency standards for this article. We review how location decisions, community involvement, and decor choices can affect your budget.
Parking costs in town
If you live in a busy city center, parking is one of your most dreaded nightmares. Yet, every year, the average American wastes time and money looking for a parking space. According to an INRIX study, we spend every year $73 billion searching for a parking spot. The amount refers to used fuel and time spent in the process. Even if your property belongs to a city parking arrangement where you need to renew season parking regularly to be able to park in town, you’ll be looking at hefty bills. A property that might seem affordable could be missing essential features such as the addition of an allocated car parking space. City buildings that are fitted with garage spaces come at a high cost. But they will save you money in the long term.
Not picking the right time
Timing is key when it comes to budget. The property market is prime to fluctuations, even minor. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made disparities more visible, increasing popular locations and features’ prices dramatically. However, the trend is unlikely to last as the economy recovers from the pandemic drop. Nevertheless, if you are going to buy a property, consider looking at the market history to spot potential fluctuations and price trends. The wrong timing could mean spending on average 15% to 25% more than you expect. More often than not, you could protect your finances by choosing to wait for a better-suited purchase time.
Proximity to the shops
Here are some alarming statistics for every household. Food waste in America reaches over 103 million tons every year, according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). To put this into perspective, the average family of four in the U.S. throws away $1,500 annually in food waste.
How can your property help reduce wastage? The answer is simple: A home within walking distance of grocery stores will reduce the risk of buying more than you need. Making frequent short trips to the store throughout the week puts you back in control of food consumption and purchase. You buy what you need for the foreseeable future while focusing on amounts that you can carry. Additionally, households that walk to do their grocery shopping are more likely to focus on fresh products, which means it’s also a nice healthy boost.
A bright and engaging interior decor
Your interior decor is the step that transforms a house or an apartment into your home. It’s the occasion to give your place the personality and style you want. While there is no right or wrong, homeowners are warned to be cautious about trendy designs that contribute to the introduction of dark color palettes. Apartments tend to have reduced access to direct sunlight, depending on surrounding buildings that might be blocking the light. In such a situation, a dark palette could make your interior feel gloomy. As a result, the perceived temperature and brightness in the room could differ from reality. When a room appears dark, the mind naturally perceives it to be cold, increasing the sensation of darkness. Therefore, your choice of decor could contribute to increased energy consumption. The same principle applies to suburban homes that are surrounded by tall trees or buildings.
Proximity to park or gym
Home workouts are great. They’ve been an integral part of our pandemic coping strategy. Yet, home workouts don’t replace exercising outside your home. In fact, property experts recommend avoiding home fitness routine when you don’t have the appropriate equipment. Exercising generates an increase in temperature and sweat, which in turn lead to a moisture environment. So, here’s a question for you: Where does the excess moisture go? If your home isn’t equipped with appropriate ventilation solutions, the moisture stays in the room and gradually seeps through the walls and furniture. In the long term, your healthy routine could lead to the formation of unappealing mold patches and increased signs of wear and tear. So, if you don’t have the space or funds to build your own home gym, you may want to find a park or a local gym studio to work out.
Know thy neighbors
Joining a new community means you need to get to know your new neighbors. Making friends with your neighbors is a difficult but essential activity. Neighbors who know and respect each other look out for each other and contribute to community safety. On the other hand, when neighbors don’t get along, your property costs could reflect the conflicts. Indeed bad neighbor relationships cost money. They drive stress levels and fatigue, which can significantly affect your decision-making process. People who experience difficulties with their neighbors, are more likely to give in to cravings, junk foods, impulsive purchases, and damaging financial choices. Most decisions are highly influenced by your cognitive state of mind, which is why stress can completely transform your budget management by introducing emotional fluctuations.
Alternatively, the opposite is also true: Making friends with your neighbors will lead to sharing tools, food, services and bringing support and assistance to each other. Friendly neighbors are not just happier, but they also save money.
The affordability of your home relies on a variety of factors that may not be directly linked to its market value. From the timing of the purchase to your relationship with your neighbors, every decision you take could save you money in the long term.