That feeling when you sign the dotted line and have the keys dropped into your palms is exhilarating. The dream of being a homeowner is universal. A home of your own gives you more independence, security, and financial freedom. However, the process and the aftermath of buying a two storey house are as stark as night and day. You have to wade through endless websites, compare multiple options, send emails, and make phone calls. Sometimes you get your hopes up, only to come crashing down when you realise a home met your expectations but exceeded your budget.
There are many interdependent factors to consider when you’re house-hunting. Here are some of them:
‘Never heard of that place is nice to hear when you are a traveller enthusiastic about the planet’s little-known, unexplored nooks and crannies. It’s not so lovely to hear if you’re a homeowner talking about your address. No postcode prejudice intended, but choose a house reasonably close to schools, offices, hospitals, stores, parks, recreation centres, restaurants, and other human beings. Unless you’re made of stern stuff, settling somewhere less remote is best. This means you can stay in the city’s heart, where you hear every lever, gear, horn, and heartbroken sigh. Before you choose Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Nowra, or Southern Highlands, drive down to these places and take their pulse. If you can’t visit in the flesh, look at them on satellite view in Google Maps. Other location-specific factors include the safety index, weather, and history.
Number and Types of Rooms
Every two storey house has a different story. If you want to have no regrets, you’ll need to be more specific than two storeys. Decide on the number of bedrooms you’ll require based on your family size (number of adults and children) and how often you receive overnight guests. Depending on the number and size of vehicles each family member owns (bicycles, cars, scooters, motorbikes), estimate the size of the garage. As for bathrooms, would you like to allocate them separately based on age (grownups and children) or gender (boys and girls)? If you have elderly or disabled family members, look for a home with a ground-floor bathroom with the letters’ PwD.’ As for the kitchen and dining room, you will need to choose based on how many people you cook for, the number of meals you cook, and the elaborateness of your recipes. You may also consider kids’ activity rooms, studies, pantries, alfresco, theatres, and laundry rooms.
Temper your enthusiasm about buying a home with a healthy dose of realism. Please buy a home based on need, not to prove something to your parents or compete with your peers. Discuss your family and financial situation in detail with the builders and the sellers. As business people, they will use their wits and wisdom and save you the trouble of barking up the wrong tree. They might point you to properties that were low on your wishlist or not on it, but they will help you see them with fresh eyes from a realistic standpoint. You will be able to enjoy your two storey house only if you don’t muddle your finances while buying it. If you know people who live within the same means that you do and who have recently bought homes, pick their brains. Seek the advice and opinions of the house seller’s previous clients.