The decision to buy your first house is huge. Figuring out what you want in your first home can be worrisome. You want to make good choices on this critical purchase. Make sure to keep a list of your needs versus your wants when you start your search.
Your home search will probably involve a lot of on-line searching before you actually step into any houses. While searching online, be sure to stay flexible. Falling in love with a great house that’s in a terrible neighborhood is disappointing.
Physicals First, Cosmetics Second
When choosing your first home, you may be tempted to dig into the cosmetics. Your desire for hardwood floors is important, but be sure that your first big purchase isn’t a new air conditioner. Consider the age of the roof, the condition of the foundation and the drainage around the house. Finally, get into the basement or crawl space and look for signs of water damage.
Work With a Professional
It can be tempting to skip the real estate agent when house hunting. However, these skilled professionals can help you in several ways. Your agent can run comps to reduce the risk of buying in a failing or declining neighborhood. They can help you get pre-approved for more money or for a lower down payment. Finally, they can put you in touch with a contractor who can help you make repairs to a fixer-upper so you can enjoy more house for your investment.
Protect Your Investment
Your down payment will take time to save. Once you’ve got it in hand, you want to put it to the best use for yourself, your family and your future. To make sure that your home increases in value over time, you will need to buy with an eye to the future. Check out the schools in the area to make sure the neighborhood will draw families that want to stay. Stability is key when deciding on your first home.
Don’t Go Too Big or Too Old
Old houses have a great deal of charm. Unfortunately, they are more expensive to heat and cool. You may also deal with plumbing challenges, aged electrical systems and leaky windows. Check out former utility rates for any home you are seriously considering to make sure you don’t break the bank when the weather gets hot or cold.
Your first home should be about having enough and a little more. Buy enough space for your family. If you want to DIY any updates, start small. Settle in and get used to the space before making any big changes.