If you’ve come to this page, it is a good bet that you are considering buying your first home. Buying your first home is a very large commitment in terms of finances and the length of time you will live in one place. Like any large decisions in our lives, it is best to get the homework done. So we present to you, 5 things to consider when buying your first home.
The Potential for Growth
When buying your first home, take into account your current space needs and plan for what those needs could be in the coming years. When you’re a renter, for example, you can easily upgrade to larger living accommodations as needed. Being a homeowner takes away that luxury, so plan a home with a little extra wiggle room. A good way to start is having a five year plan for what your life could look like and plan from there.
Knowing the In’s and Out’s
Hiring a professional inspector will give you a look at the quality of a home’s basics. Make sure your prospective home is healthy on the inside before worrying about what it looks like on the outside. The inspector will notice things about your home that may not be visible to you, the good and the bad. They could uncover serious issues that you will not want to be committed to after a purchase. Your real estate agent can guide you through this process and get you connected to the right inspector.
No Home is Perfect
Many first time buyers have a dream list when first thinking about buying a home, and at the end of the dream list rainbow is the perfect home. What will help you out tremendously is knowing you will most likely sacrifice items on that list. This isn’t a bad thing! You will still find a great home that is right for you. If you have a list of must-haves and wants, make sure it’s a small list and know that some of those must-haves may be something you don’t necessarily need. Purchase a home that has what is most important, so you can focus on the little things you can do to make it the best it can be later on.
Know the Cost of Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home involves a huge financial commitment and you’ll want to be prepared for that. Search for homes that align with your budget (don’t forget to plan your budget) and stick with it. Things to consider are closing costs, utilities, HOA dues, a fund for future repairs and monthly miscellaneous expenses. Finding a good lender can be critical in understanding your mortgage and expenses. Still, lenders don’t have obligations to the rest of your life’s finances, so be accountable for your money. If you’re wondering what percentages to use when budgeting, check out the 50/20/30 rule.
The Length of Life
Understanding your home’s components and their lifespans are important things to consider. How long will it be before the roof needs to be replaced? Are the appliances outdated? Is your air conditioning unit running well enough to last long term? Ask questions like these when touring a home and during a home inspection. Researching the expected remaining life on large-ticket items can help you plan for the future. Everything in a home needs to be repaired at some point. Just make sure it isn’t right when you purchase it.
Now that you know what to consider when buying your first home, start hunting! Click here for another great read that will prepare you for a successful home search, or check out this detailed home buyer timeline.