Buying your first home is a big step and a large monetary decision. As a renter, you may realize that often times your rent is the same price as a mortgage would be. Starting to look for your first home can seem like a daunting task at first. You will find yourself asking questions like; what are non-negotiables in our new home? What are the things we want but could live without if the price tag is too high? Looking for your home can be a fun and exciting time, just be sure to keep these things in mind as you begin your search.
How Much Can You Actually Afford?
Just because the bank approves for you to receive a loan of a certain amount, that does not mean that you have to find a home at that price point. Finding a home below that price would mean you don’t have to put most of your pennies towards your mortgage. You also have to keep in mind if you’re buying there may be repairs that come up that you aren’t expecting and having a little bit of wiggle room will be beneficial in the long run. Your closing costs and down payments are other expenses that will need to be considered and paid upfront.
What is the Ideal Location of Your Home-to-Be?
This is one of the things that you just can’t change. Do you like the neighborhood? Is it too close to the main road? Keeping things in mind such as how close the schools are to you, the growth that is expected to happen in the area you’re moving to and what your new commute to work will look like. Location is also important to keep in mind for the long term when you’re ready to move on to your next home.
Why Keep Resale in Mind?
With this being your starter home, it’s a no brainer you don’t plan on being there forever. Eventually, you will sell your house. When you do you, you’ll want to make sure it’s marketable to new homebuyers. Though the train tracks in your backyard might not bother you, they could bother future buyers and your house could be easily looked over. When purchasing your house try to remember that just because the roof doesn’t need to be replaced immediately, it might need to be replaced when you’re trying to sell which could bring the price of your home down.
What is an HOA and How Does it Affect Me?
A Home Owners Association (HOA) is an organization that oversees a group of homes that makes and enforces rules for the properties and their residents. Whether you’re buying a townhome or single-family home, there could be an HOA that will need to be accounted for in your monthly expenses. There are no two HOA’s that are the same, so it’s important to find out what your HOA will include. HOA’s can include different rules and regulations, and you want to be sure you can abide by them before committing to living there for some time. HOA’s could also include a pool, clubhouse, landscapers, and other very beneficial amenities that you otherwise would not have access to without HOA.
Can You Grow With the House?
You want to make sure your new home can accommodate a growing family, animals, or just collecting more things. Even if you don’t need a three-bedroom home right now, you may grow into it. Additionally, a three-bedroom home may increase in value more than a two-bedroom home does. This means, in the long run, though you may have spent more initially, you could get that money back when reselling your home.
Is it Fixer Upper or Move-in Ready?
Some people love a good fixer-upper after all the things we’ve seen HGTV do. If you’re willing to do some upgrades while living in your home, a fixer-upper could be fun for you and your family. However, some upgrades and fixes may end up costing more in the long run. If DIY isn’t your thing, you’d want to make sure your realtor is only showing you move-in ready homes.
Buying your first home is such an exciting time. Keeping these important things in mind as you look for the perfect place will save you some heartache in the end. The market is staying pretty busy right now, so if you don’t find something that you love or could see yourself loving after some renovating, hang in there. Don’t put all of your money into something you’re going to want to leave in a year when the excitement wears off.
Also, check out some helpful tips to improve the look of your new home or the current home you are trying to sell: