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How To Choose the Right House for Your Family

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting prospect, but it can also be daunting. There are so many details that go into buying a new home—from finding the best interest rate on your mortgage to choosing the perfect home and getting it inspected before purchase. Sometimes, amid the scramble to find a great lender and get your credit score up to snuff, potential homeowners may forget that choosing the right house is about more than just the home loan part.

Think about your family. What makes your family special? Do you need to be near specific amenities? Do you have kids who want to be in a specific school district? Do you have the kind of job that allows you to pay a steady monthly payment on a fixed rate mortgage, or would you benefit from an adjustable-rate mortgage? These are all questions of equal importance. Let’s take a moment to explore some things you should consider when you’re trying to decide whether you should settle down in Salem, Lincoln City, New York, or anywhere in between.

What do your kids need?

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The first thing anyone who is considering becoming a homeowner should ask themselves is what their kids need if they have kids. If you are a parent, you need to consider school zones, of course, but also other useful amenities for parents. For example, having a grocery store and pharmacy nearby when you have kids is a great boon for busy parents.

If your kids have hobbies or passions that they love, you’ll want to be in an area of the United States that allows them to pursue those passions. If you have a teen who is in love with horseback riding, maybe a brownstone in Brooklyn isn’t the best choice. On the other hand, if you have a nature nut on your hands, living a short drive from national or state parks with campgrounds would be a good idea. Before you pay a down payment, consider what your kids will need to be happy in your home.

What kinds of careers do you and your partner have?

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The next people on the list are you and your partner if you have one. The type of career you have figured into the house you buy hugely. If you’re in a nine-to-five career in the finance sector and need to be at an office every morning, you’ll need to consider when you decide where your home should be located.

On the other hand, if you’re a travel journalist who is always on the road, maybe you should consider taking your whole family on the road with you, so you don’t have to be away from them all the time. In the age of remote work, if you can do your work from a premier RV park with easy access to WiFi, maybe it makes more sense to pile into an RV and head onto the freeway than to commit to a home loan for a home you won’t be spending much time in.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

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Committing to a 30-year mortgage is a big deal and takes a lot of work. You’ll have to spend time paying down credit card and student loan debt to get your credit score in good shape, you’ll have to make sure you don’t miss your monthly payments, and you’ll have to be sure you’re able to commit for the whole life of the loan. Think long and hard about your five-year plan and see if a mortgage loan, whether fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage, is the right move for you.

There are so many great things about owning your own property, but there are also great things about heading out onto the open road and living the RV life. Consider what’s best for your family, and remember, there are no wrong answers.