Finding the right starter home can be a daunting and emotionally exhausting journey. Since it’s your first home purchase, it’s easy to expect to find the perfect place. But mostly, the “perfect place” doesn’t exist … especially when considering that most first time home buyers are looking in a more moderate price range. It’s important to consider your needs vs. your wants when looking for your first home. Remember though, just because this is your first home, it doesn’t have to be your last home. There will always be future opportunities to upgrade.
But there are certain features you’ll want to make sure you put at the top of the list. In this post we’ll discuss those features and why you’ll want them in your first home. More exotic features like pools are a great bonus, but they should take a back seat to the these top considerations when purchasing your first home.
You may already be paying rent and so have a good idea of what you can afford. It’s a REALLY good idea to find out how that monthly dollar amount translates in terms of location, size, and amenities. It really stinks when you go out home shopping and fall in love with a place that you later find out is above your price range. For this reason it’s important to figure out your home price range before you go out looking. Consider the total cost of homeownership including Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance … and don’t forget maintenance costs. See this article for more info. Also remember that location can have a huge difference on the price of a home. For that reason you may want to consider choosing a home in a less ideal location to get the features in the home you really want…or, if location is more important, be prepared to settle for a smaller or less feature rich property.
- Low maintenance
Maintenance costs are tough to anticipate. So when considering your first home, it’s a good idea to look at a newer property…one that probably will not cause you to come out of pocket on unexpected regular maintenance costs. Things break down…and the older they are the more likely they’ll break. Also consider that building codes have become more stringent over the years so the quality of new home construction has become inherently more reliable. Buying a new construction for your first home is not a bad idea. Normally all new construction homes are covered by at least a one year warranty which will really limit your out of pocket costs.
- Room for the family
Ok, so you may be single with no kids now…but things change. Pick a place for your first home that you can easily expand into. Plus, having an additional room or two adds the option of having a guest room and/or an office. Another consideration may be to get the type of place that most people want to rent…that way if you do decide to move on, you maximize your income potential if you use the home as an investment property. If you have the purchasing power to add either high end upgrades or more space, your dollar is probably better spent on the space. You can easily add cool things to your home down the line, but adding square footage is considerably more costly.
- Conforms to your lifestyle
We discussed location above. If possible don’t choose the home that moves you into a lifestyle that you won’t enjoy. Friends are important so make sure you take that into consideration when picking a location for your first home. Also consider proximity to parks and other outdoor recreational activities…if that’s important. I guess the bottom line is you should not let your first home transport you away from your friends or the things you love. Your first home shouldn’t uproot your entire lifestyle. Really research the community you’re considering for your first home. If you find one that will also give you easy access to some of your favorite hobbies and entertainment outlets then you might have found the ideal location.
If you have any questions about buying your first home don’t hesitate to contact me! If you’re looking for more real estate related tips feel free to check out the rest of my blog.
Recommended: Guide To Buying a Home
About the author: The above article “Make Sure Your First Home Has These 4 Things” was provided by Kevin Guerrero of Keller Williams Clients’ Choice Realty. To find out more about Kevin and Keller Williams check out the ABOUT US page.
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