In the past, we have talked about the issues of qualification and affordability while we try to answer the question–should I buy this house. This article will focus upon the issue of suitability in regard to a prospective home purchase.

The issues of qualification and affordability arise when we try to answer the question – should I buy this house?  This article will focus upon the issue of suitability in regard to a prospective home purchase.

While much homeownership “suitability” analysis focuses within the area of finances, there are also other “non-financial” questions with regard to suitability. For example…

  • Is this house in the right location? Location may be important with regard to commuting to jobs and activities. With higher energy costs and increased traffic in urban areas, commuting takes on a higher level of significance.
  • Is the home large enough for my present and future family and is this where I want to raise them? This issue requires not only the analysis of family size and school districts, but also the proximity to activities and other services.
  • Is this the home I would like to retire in? For those whose children are older, the question of retirement comes into play. For example, does the house require major maintenance that you don’t have the ability to take on during retirement?
  • Does this home have the amenities my family desires? For example, do I want a big yard for children to play in or for other enjoyment? Do I want a big kitchen and dining room in order to entertain?
  • If I were to leave quickly, how marketable or rentable is this house? The best “buy” which is most affordable because it is in the middle of the country may not be the best choice for those who need to be mobile.

We could go on and on regarding the choice of the home and location. However, we can’t ignore the financial aspects of suitability. These include–assessing the house with regard to meeting your financial needs in the future.

For example, the cost of the housing payment after taxes represents an important issue with regard to affordability. Part of the reason this home may be affordable is because of the tax deduction. However, if you are not paying taxes because of other deductions, you may not receive most of the benefit of the home purchase.

This may be especially true for those who are self-employed and may use their status to “write-off” much of their income. The future becomes an issue when the status of your income and deductions change…

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