With the homeownership rate sitting at around 64% in the US, you’re certainly not alone if you’re looking into buying. Buying a first home, however, is a whole other ballgame!
Buying a first home can be both exciting and daunting, and while you’re looking at houses, there are some very important things you need to consider. It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill and prospect of owning a home but some part of your mind needs to stay logical! Otherwise, it’s trouble down the road.
When looking at homes, make sure you keep the following things in your head for consideration and you’ll be good to go!
- How Much Space Do You Really Need?
Space is a big consideration, but many people aren’t realistic. They think they can fit all of their belongings into a very small space, or they believe they need much more room than they actually do.
Before you go house hunting, consider your belongings and furniture. What do you actually need? What are you definitely going to get rid of? What would you be willing to get rid of that you might never have thought, if you really loved the house?
If you can get a solid grasp on how much you own and what you need from the space, you’ll be one step ahead of the game when looking.
- Think of the Future
If you’re looking for a house on your own or with a partner, you might think two bedrooms are fine. But what if you need a home office one day, if your career advances, or a studio? Do you intend on having kids or many pets? How long are you going to stay in the house?
If you intend to stay in your first home for a while, one of the most essential home buying tips is to think ahead.
- How Much Work Needs to be Done
You might be in love with a house, but you need to really consider how much work needs to be done. If you’re not an expert, no worries — any decent home inspector should be able to give you an idea if anything needs to be fixed or replaced.
There might be other things you want to do, like knocking down a wall or building a kitchen island. It’s important to factor all of this in.
- The Total Costs
The total costs can be more than a first time homeowner might have expected, so be wary. Think of any repairs, the moving cost, the mortgage, and, of course, the closing costs. For more information on closing costs and how to save some money, check out these tips from Paymints.io!
- Emergency Savings
You need to consider if you have emergency savings. Although everything might seem great with the house, you have no idea what could happen. A hurricane could hit, meaning you needed to evacuate and have money to stay elsewhere, or there could be some damage to the house that the home inspector just didn’t catch.
You should only be buying a home when you have the money to take care of anything that goes wrong.
- Research the Neighborhood
As well as the house itself, one of the most important home buying tips anyone can give you is to check out the neighborhood. Look up crime rates, drive around during the day and night to get a feel for the area, check out the amenities.
What’s important to you? Having bars within walking distance, being able to walk the dog alone and feel safe? Work out what you value and make sure the neighborhood has everything you need.
- Check Out the Schools
If there’s even the slightest chance you might have children and you intend on staying in the house for quite a while, check out the schools. You want to feel like you’re giving your child the best education possible — any parent does!
Researching the schools beforehand could save you a headache later. Making sure your house is in a school district that you’re comfortable with is essential for any parent or future parent.
- The Age of the House
The age of the house may not seem too important — especially if you’re in love with it — but it has to be taken into consideration.
In older houses, you’re more likely to encounter problems with the roof, or the plumbing might fail. Sewer lines aren’t built to last forever and you could be on the hook if yours fails shortly after moving in! Most home warranties don’t cover anything outside of the house itself, and things like the sewer line are usually included.
- Anything Important to You
Above all else, it’s important to have a sense of your dealbreakers and what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. Have a clear sense when going in and try to stick to it.
Of course, compromise is important — you might not be able to get that awesome backyard with a pool, or that huge fireplace you love the idea of — but if you’ve decided you need at least three bedrooms for your future, or a practical home office, don’t get tired of the search and cave.
The search for your first home can get tiring, but stick with it for your dream house and it’ll be worth it in the end.
Your First Home is Exciting, But Always Be Careful!
It’s easy to get both carried away when searching for your first home and exhausted by the search, often leading to you closing on a house quickly rather than considering everything you should. Step back and make sure you’ve researched everything fully before you close on something!
For more home tips and other life advice, check out the rest of our site!