17 Nov 5 Important Things to Consider When Buying a Home
Especially For First Time Buyers…
When you think you’re ready to buy a home, there’s a lot of factors to consider while deciding which house you should buy. After all, this is most likely the biggest investment you will make in your life! The most common things people think about are:
Is it within my budget?
Is it in the location I want?
Does it have enough bedrooms & bathrooms?
Do I like the kitchen?
Do I like the style of the house?
How old is the home?
Is the yard too big or small?
Although these are all great things to consider, we can elaborate on them a little more:
1. Will You Need to Do Renovations or Updates?
This goes along with considering the home’s age and it’s really important to think about. Fixer uppers can be great investments that provide a ton of equity but living in a construction zone can be a real challenge, especially if the house needs a ton of work. This is why home inspections are extremely important! They can identify potential issues and help you determine which tasks you’ll need to take on before being fully committed to the property. From there, you’ll need to prioritize which tasks need to be addressed before move in day. For instance, you’ll need to address any safety concerns and make sure you have functioning bathrooms. Most importantly, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to pay for these updates. Your realtor should be able to help you negotiate the selling price to help make the necessary improvements more affordable. It’s also worth investigating any neighborhood improvement grants or energy efficiency loan programs if they’re available.
Bonus – If you know any contractors, bring them along during the home inspection! They can help you evaluate the costs and timelines associated with making the necessary updates!
2. Will It Be Affordable If Your Finances Change?
This takes it a step further to whether or not the house is within your budget. Just because you’re pre-approved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you need to spend that much on your house! If you and your partner both work, consider mortgage payments you could make on only one of your incomes. This will allow you to put a lot of money away for retirement, take vacations, and live a lifestyle you can enjoy! A mortgage is a huge commitment in terms of dollar amounts and the length of time you’ll be making payments. Put a safety net in place should you lose your job, change careers, or if the unthinkable happens to you. Worse case scenarios are hard to think about. Unfortunately, you really need to consider these scenarios before spending at the top of your budget.
Bonus – If you’re buying a house you need a life insurance policy! This will give you peace of mind and alleviate financial pressure on your family if the worst does happen.
3. Will You Be Satisfied With The Neighborhood in the Future?
It’s important to remember that the house you’re buying can always be updated in the future, but the location and surrounding areas are outside of your control. The location of your home should be a higher priority than fancy new upgrades. You may regret buying a house that has a nicer kitchen, because it’s not in the neighborhood you desire. Is the nicer kitchen more important than a shorter commute, being closer to friends and family, better schools for your children, etc.? Maybe you can’t afford putting a new kitchen in the house of your desired neighborhood just yet, but five years from now you’ll be able to make that change. Wouldn’t it be better? You need to think of your house long term. Sometimes this can be difficult but it’s essential to making the right decision for your future.
4. Can The Home Grow With You?
This is extremely important if you’re planning to have kids soon! The number of bedrooms and bathrooms may seem perfect now, but when your family starts to grow these will be a hot commodity. A home with an in-law suite might be above your current budget… but if the house has an unfinished basement or attic, you could eventually transform them into living spaces. The attic could potentially be another bedroom and bathroom, while the basement could add plenty of additional square footage for a bonus room and hangout space. There could also be plenty of space in the yard for an addition in the future. These are all things to think about when looking at potential homes for your family.
5. Who’s Your Real Estate Agent?
As a home buyer you don’t pay any real estate commission! That means using a real estate agent is FREE. There’s absolutely no reason not to hire an agent during the home buying process. The important thing to consider is which agent you hire! A lot of real estate agents don’t enjoy working with home buyers, so they may not put in the effort needed for a great experience. These realtors believe it’s a lot of work to bring people to different houses and search for homes they think their clients will like. They aren’t wrong! It is a lot of work, but there are agents like us who love doing this! We want to make the home buying process as fun and enjoyable as possible. Helping people find their dream home couldn’t be more satisfying for us! You’ll also have a team of realtors to help guide you through the home buying process. If you’re ready to start looking for a home, please fill out the form below.