For anyone shopping for a home, it's easy to think about your immediate needs when you're browsing real estate listings to find a property that you like. However, you should also be thinking about the future and not just the next couple years. A study from the National Association of Home Builders reveals that homeowners stay in their homes for an average of 13 years. That means that when you evaluate whether a home will suit your needs, you should try to think 13 years into the future before you select a property to buy. Here are some specific factors to evaluate:
Give a careful thought about how your family situation will likely look over the next 13 years. This is an important consideration to discuss with your spouse, as familial changes are a big reason that people need to sell their homes before they expect to. Central to considering your family situation is the number of children you currently have and expect to have. For example, if you have one child now but are planning to have two more over the next few years, a residence with four bedrooms (a master bedroom and three smaller bedrooms) is your best bet. It would be a mistake to buy a two-bedroom house because that's all that you currently need.
While it's sometimes difficult to imagine where your career might be in more than a decade, this is another topic that you should think about. There are several related elements to consider. For example, you should evaluate the distance between your current job, places that you think you may gain employment in the next 13 years, and the home you're considering. Additionally, if you're wondering about becoming self-employed at some point in the near future, you'll ideally want a residence that has space for a dedicated home office.
Imagining how your financial situation will look in more than a decade can be challenging, but it's important to consider when you're house shopping. You may even wish to meet with a financial advisor from your bank to paint a picture of your current and future financial situations. There are several financial topics to evaluate. For example, if you'll have two kids in college in 13 years, you might not wish to buy the most expensive home that you can currently afford. Instead, it may be better to buy something a little lower in price and put some funds into an education savings plan.