Buying your first home is exciting. However, even though it may be difficult, you can't let your excitement and emotions control your decisions. Most likely, you have a general idea of the size and type of house that you want to purchase and you've shared your thoughts with your realtor. But, how realistic are your expectations? Before you start looking for homes for sale, make sure you take these things into consideration.
Consider the Long Term
Many first-time home buyers don't think long term. They look for "starter homes" thinking that they can always sell their home if their needs change. But, what happens if you can't upgrade your home in a few years? Even if you don't plan to live in the house 10 years from now, you need to think about your future. A few things to consider include:
- Whether you're planning to have children, and if the house has enough living space for your family to grow.
- Whether you plan to sell or rent the home in a few years. If so, you don't want to limit your options by buying a house that's in a slightly sketchy neighborhood or an area with an undesirable school system.
- Any upgrades the home needs. Do you need to fence in the backyard to accommodate your dogs? Will you need to finish the basement to have the extra space you need as your family grows? Many first-time home buyers overlook upgrades that are needed if the upgrade isn't needed right away. However, home renovations aren't cheap, so you need to consider the cost of potential future upgrades before you buy the house.
Know Your Must Haves
Don't allow yourself to get so caught up in the excitement of buying your first home that you purchase a house that's missing most of the features that you need. Before your realtor takes you to look at houses for sale in your area, make a list of your must-have features, as well as the house features that you'd like to have if possible. Then, use your checklist to guide you through each house. By focusing on your list instead of things such as shiny, new appliances, you're less likely to "fall in love" with a house that won't meet your long-term needs.
Consider All of the Household Expenses
When you're trying to determine whether you can afford a specific house, you need to take all of the household expenses into consideration -- not just the mortgage, insurance, and tax payments. Take some time to call the utility companies to see if the monthly cost of the utilities in the new home will cost more. If you have a longer commute to work, take the added fuel cost into consideration. Small amounts of additional money can add up quickly. So, you need to take all of your expenses into consideration before you purchase your first home.
Buying your first home shouldn't be stressful. It's okay to allow yourself to enjoy the process. if you know what you want in a home and what you can afford, you can relax and enjoy looking at the houses for sale in your area. For more information on finding and buying your first home, contact a real estate agent from a company like Reinvest Consultants.