While there are many points to take into effect when you are looking at Portland Real Estate, I wanted to list a few here to think about. These may be obvious but I am pointing them out anyway.
w do you like to spend your free time?
Where do you go on weekends and evenings? Do you walk, run or bike? You should look at places that have sidewalks or trails. If you kayak, do you want to be near a lake or river or at least good access? Do you love to hang out in downtown Portland? Are you chauffeuring the kids from games, practice, parities, etc...? Think about what you will be doing and how your new place could help or hinder your lifestyle.
Where do you work?
Not everyone really thinks about how their lifestyle could change by either living close to, or far away from work. If you work in the city, but long for the space you get in the suburbs, how will the commute be? If having more time at home instead of commuting is high on your list of wants, you might only consider an area close to where you work. But, your job situation could change, so you want a location that would allow you to consider jobs in other areas without the necessity of moving.
Your Lifestyle or Your Stuff?
Which is more important? Your heart is set on that contemporary condo in the Pearl, then you might need to make other accommodations for the 10 boxes of holiday decorations you move along with you. If you can't bear to be separated from large, antique dining table, chairs and buffet set your gramma handed down to you or your motorcycle collection, then you should factor space for that into your 'must have' list.
Will your living situation change while you own the house?
Is this a transitional house for you? Will you start out with a roommate and end up with a spouse and child? Will you have children moving out over time? Does the house suit your empty nest situation or will you want to sell at that point? As you age, will you be able to stay in the house, or is this a house that will be great for a couple of years, but not where you will spend your golden years? Some houses are just for a few years while others are homes for a lifetime. You might not need to know which you are purchasing, but the one-bedroom condo does and how much room for a changing if would allow.
Do you like working on your home?
Are you or do you want to be handy? You may love the charm and style of the old Portland real estate in Laurelhurst, but if you hate working on your house, those might not be the right choice for you. You need to be honest with yourself about how much time, and money, you have to spend on maintenance of your future home.
To yard or not to yard?
For some buyers, a big yard with lots of trees or plantings with space for kids toys, potting plants, deck chairs and benches is a must-have. For others, very little is wanted or even needed. An alternative to the large yard is if you buy a Portland home that is close to a park, you might be able to get a lot of the benefit without a lot of the expense and time required by a yard. How much of your own green space you need makes a big difference in the type of property you buy.
Where to Compromise?
Most buyers will not find a house that is ideal in every way. You almost always have to sacrifice something off your wants and needs list. What will you be willing to give up? Closet space for larger yard? Remodeled kitchen for main-level laundry? Closer to a busy street for the extra bonus space? A few tough decisions will likely be made during your Portland real estate search.
Your entire financial picture.
Are you stretching so much that furniture will be a dream? Some people don't mind deferring the pleasure of sitting on a coach and still others like to entertain from day one. Will you be deferring vacation plans for a few years? How much money will be left after you purchase your West Linn real estate for the extras you like have in your life? Just make sure you understand what your financial picture will allow after you buy your home.
Are you ready for the responsibility?
Looking back on the credit and housing crisis, we all learned that conditions can change quickly. Be aware that your homeowners dues will go up. Don't take out an ARM loan if you can't afford the possibility of a larger payment. Have a plan for what happens if you lose your job. We can't know every challenge that we might face, but we can create the best possible situation for success by thinking ahead.
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Also posted on West Linn Real Estate.