Buying a new home is both exciting and overwhelming. And it’s easy to let your heart lead your head and rush into something that may not be right for you.

There are so many factors to consider at every stage of the process and it can be hard to know where to begin. With that in mind, we pulled together the most important things to consider when you start on the home buying journey.

1. What kind of lifestyle do you want?

The first thing you should consider before buying a new home is how it will fit with your lifestyle. Consider not only what your life looks like now, but also how it might change over the next 5-10 years.

Remember, a house is more than bricks and mortar – especially one you’re buying to live in. It’s a sanctuary to return home to each day, a place to entertain friends, and somewhere to raise a family and create memories.

When it comes to your lifestyle, some things to consider are whether you have children or are planning on starting a family, where you want to work and how far the commute will be, and how involved you want to be in your local community.

Sure, we can’t always predict what the future holds, but by thinking about your desired lifestyle you can ensure your next home supports you as much as possible.

2. What’s your (realistic) budget?

While your bank or mortgage broker will tell you how much they’ll let you borrow, this may not work for your budget.

Look at your monthly budget to work out how much you can reasonably afford to repay while also having a comfortable lifestyle. Also, consider how things might change in the near future. Are you planning a career change, which might mean earning less money? Or will you take time out to care for family?

To truly enjoy your next home, you’ll want to know that you can comfortably afford to make the mortgage repayments each month, even if your situation changes.

3. What area do you want to live in?

Unless you want to live rural, being close to local shops and other amenities are likely to be important to you. While you might find a large home in the outer suburbs, you might grow tired of having to get in the car and drive 20 minutes every time you run out of milk.

Before you start looking, consider what you want from the area. Do you want to be close to shops and other amenities? Is proximity to the city important? What about access to public transport, or even arterial roads if you drive? If you have kids, how close are the local schools?

Of course, your budget will also determine your potential locations. But there are suburbs that offer plenty in the way of amenities while also providing affordability, such as those in Melbourne’s north between Preston and South Morang.

4. What floorplan works best for you?

While this one might seem obvious, it’s on our list for a reason. While you likely already know how many rooms you need, one important factor is how the floor plan is set out.

Open living and dining areas are a popular option as they are so flexible – something as simple as where you place the lounge can change the flow of the space and either open things up or create cosy corners.

But they can become noisy if everyone is congregating at the same time. Having the bedrooms on a different floor to the living areas can offer quiet and privacy when needed. Likewise, if you work from home then a study nook set away from the rest of the family will allow for quiet work while still being part of day-to-day life.

Buying a new townhouse - View Bank Homes

An example floor layout for View Bank Homes’ development EIGHTY, at 80 Jensen Road, Preston

5. How much outdoor space do you need?

Outdoor space can really make a house feel like a home, but gardens and large lawns can be a lot of work to maintain. If you prefer spending your weekends enjoying the outdoors over weeding, look for a low maintenance courtyard or even a balcony where you can place some hardy plants.

6. How energy efficient is the house?

With rising energy costs, it’s more important than that ever our homes are as energy efficient as possible. And much of a house’s energy efficiency comes from how it’s built – which is why new homes are often far more efficient than older ones.

Double glazing on windows, solar heating, building materials and orientation can all factor into the energy efficiency of a home. While a newer home may cost more than something established, the savings in energy usage can really add up.

At View Bank Homes, we build modern homes located in well-established areas, offering easy access to transport, local amenities and schools. Our architecturally-designed townhouses feature open plan living, comply with 6-star energy ratings and feature low maintenance outdoor spaces.

View Bank Homes is a family-owned boutique residential developer building homes across Melbourne’s north. See our latest developments, EIGHTY at 80 Jensen Road, Preston and The ONE at 1 Riverside Drive, South Morang, selling now.