8 Things Every First-Time Homebuyer Should Consider

  • Posted on June 9, 2020 by Price Mortgage

Scary. Overwhelming. Exciting.

These are just a few words that describe the feeling of becoming a homeowner for the first time!

For many, homeownership is truly a dream that they’ve worked hard for by planning and saving for years, and the last thing you want is buyers remorse or regret!

It’s easy to overlook details while being caught up in the exciting home buying process. Here are 8 things that every first-time homebuyer should consider while searching for a home.

1. Location or Square Footage?

Location, Location, Location!Most real estate agents will tell you that you should always consider the location you want to live in over the size of the home. While we believe this is true for the most part it doesn’t always make sense.

Consider sacrificing that perfect location for a larger home if you plan on growing your family in the near future, already have a large family, need space for frequent house guests, or you travel a lot for work.

The location of your home is more important if you plan on renting your house(now or in the future), have school-aged children, plan to sell your house in the near future, want an ideal work commute, need convinient access to specific amenities, etc.

2. School Districts Can Affect Home Values

Even if you don’t have children, a school district is a critical factor you should be looking at while searching for homes.

There is a higher demand for real estate in neighborhoods that are close to highly rated school districts. This demand, combined with limited inventory can drive property values higher. Properties in good school districts tend to hold their value or even increase in value even during times when the rest of the market has cooled down.

3. Sweat Equity Can Save You Thousands

DIY Home RemodelingFinding the perfect house that checks every box is very hard, even on an unlimited budget. But when you are on a budget, it’s next to impossible!

Finding the perfect house that checks every box is very hard, even on an unlimited budget. But when you are on a budget, it’s next to impossible!

Maybe you’ve found the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood that could use a bit of TLC to make it just right. Now we’re not talking about tearing down walls or doing a full remodel. But don’t be afraid to put in some work to make it perfect.

Small, relatively cheap projects like paint, new light fixtures, laminate flooring, or countertops can go a long way and you can save thousands!

4. Don’t Spend Every Dollar You’re Pre-Approved For

It may be tempting to search for homes at the top end of your budget, but just because you’re pre-approved up to a certain dollar amount, doesn’t mean you have to spend that much.

By purchasing something cheaper you can keep your finances flexible for other things down the road.

5. Reserve Some Cash For Home Improvements, Appliances, Furniture, etc

Washer and DryerOne of the best parts about being a homeowner is being able to do what you want with your home. But if you put all of your savings towards your down payment you’ll be left with no room to work with.

People often overlook the need for new paint or carpet when moving into a new house. It might have looked in great shape when you toured the house and put an offer down, but after the former owners moved out and it’s an empty shell things tend to look different.

Another expense that people often overlook is the need for new furniture or appliances like a new fridge or washer and dryer.

6. Read The HOA Documents!

If you’re considering a home in a community with an HOA, make sure you do some research on that HOA by reading reviews, talking to neighbors, and reading the HOA documents to avoid any unexpected surprises after you move-in.

Make sure you read through the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), bylaws and budget and look for anything that sticks out which could affect you in the future.

7. Make Sure Any Renovations Were Professionally Done

Home InspectionIf you’re buying a home that was recently renovated, it’s a great idea to make sure that any work done was completed by a licensed professional. If not, you should ask your home inspector to take a closer look at any renovated areas to make sure that the work was done properly.

There are a lot of investors and flippers that run through houses as fast as they can, which sometimes turns to them cutting corners due to time or budget restraints.

8. Don’t Overlook Moving Costs

Don’t forget about the moving costs! With all of the excitement of purchasing your first home it’s easy to have tunnel vision – focusing on the price, closing costs, etc.

But guess what? Once you close, it’s time to move! You’ll need to consider packing supplies(who knew boxes and tape could be so expensive!), truck rentals, cleaning costs, labor, etc.

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