Buying your first home is an experience that can definitely send chills down your spine. These kind of chills often bring confusion and people end up making irrational decisions based on the new information they receive when house hunting. While this is important, there is great need to have an idea of your expectations and your minimum requirements. This will prevent you from making many wrong moves.
Stay on budget
This is an important factor to remember as people often see gorgeous homes with extra features that seem just slightly above budget. These small costs often end up ballooning. Staying on budget can allow for renovations to be made and also leave some wiggle room to make the home how you would like it. Extra costs mean extra mortgage as well. It is thus necessary to remember to stick within your budgetary needs
Look for good bones
Some first time home buyers can’t say they have a big budget to work with. Even those with a handsome budget can still run into issues regarding the foundational structures within a home. In the event that you are taking on a fixer-upper, ensure you go with a contractor to find out if the bones of the home you intend to purchase are in good shape.
The old saying goes that you can change the fittings and furnishings within a home, but you cannot change its location. This is unless it’s a tiny home on wheels but I digress. The location is a factor you need to keep in mind. To maximize on how to go about the process of getting the best location, consider your own personal schedules and routines. These will allow you to know what side of town, for instance, will be best suited for your search.
Keep an eye for leaks
A leak ignored may be a much bigger problem unforeseen. A ceiling leak could indicate destroyed plumbing that may cause wooden floors and subfloors to rot. This needs to be considered keenly because they are dangerous and could lead to bigger structural damages if left for too long unattended. Keep an eye out for this to avoid accidents and issues in the future.
Don’t underestimate remodeling projects
This point cannot be stated enough. Many first time home buyers get excited when they get into potential homes. Each problem always presents a wide range of opportunities that could make the home a dream. Don’t be fooled by the theoretical ease of renovation projects especially in older homes. They could open up years’ worth of issues that could throw you way over your intended budget. (Related: No Time for a Home Reno? Do an “In The Meantime” Fix-up, Stat!)
Know local fencing laws
Often overlooked are any fencing rules in your area. Home buyers with dogs and younger kids may need a fenced in yard. In some states and in some housing associations, it may not be allowed. There may be some rules and regulations as well regarding placement, and height. I don’t intend to crash your white picket fence perfect dream; I’m simply letting you know that those regulations exist in some states.
Garage or no garage
This may or may not be a priority to you; however, it is an important factor to remember when looking for your first home. If it heavily snows in your area, you might want a garage to be a priority on the house hunting list. These additions sometimes go a long way in making sure everyone’s needs are met by a home. A garage is an extra space that most men swear by.
Don’t forget the yard
Some people can’t do without ample yard space to hang out with the family and play catch on summers. This is why looking keenly at the choices of yards you have is important when picking your first home. Chances are, your first home might not be your last. You may want to upsize and you need to consider what the resale value of that home will be then. A well-manicured yard is more likely to be a great additional feature not just for your use but also for resale value.
House hunting doesn’t have to be a strict and boring process of checklists and weighing options. You can have fun with the process and be creative while finding your perfect fit. Just remember that you are unique and your needs need to come before any list. These tips can help you find out which aspects of your life you can consider as a guide to find the perfect home. (Related: Six Tips for First-Time Home Buyers)