What To Look For In A First-Time Home

What To Look For In A First-Time Home
 OMG John 4/12/2017 6:00 AM

There is a long list of things that most people want in their homes to make it their dream home, but a dream home may not be practical for first-time homebuyers, especially when it comes to your budget. You could sit down and make a laundry list of things you WANT in your home, but you may not necessarily NEED those things.

To help with deciding what is a NEED vs. what would just be a “NICE TO HAVE,” here are major must-haves for your first-time home:

  1. First and most importantly, a reasonable price tag. This is your first home and your budget probably isn’t that large, so don’t push it. There are great houses out there that are in your budget.
  2. Find a home that can last you for the next 10 (or so) years. Ask yourself things like “how many kids are we going to have?” and “What’s the max amount of bedrooms we are going to need?” This is an important conversation to ask your spouse if that’s who you are moving in with.
  3. Look at the quality of space in the home. It could have all the bedrooms in the world, but if they are too small to be useful then you should move onto the next.
  4. Location, location, location. Everyone that’s ever looked at buying a house has heard this saying. Find a stable neighborhood that has attractive homes, is a decent commute to work, and has a good school district (if there are kids in the foreseeable future).
  5. When looking at homes, see if they have been properly maintained. Look for things like rotten trim, dirty air ducts and HVAC systems, and issues with the roof and the gutters.
  6. Since most first-time home buyers are on a limited budget, you have to be picky about what you want vs. what you need. When checking out homes look for updates such as energy efficient windows, updated electrical wiring, a new roof, and a new water heater. Having these things already updated will save you a lot of money when you move in.

Most first-time homeowners are used to renting their residence whether that is a home, an apartment, or a condo; and some might even be on the fence about switching from renting to buying. The upsides to buying your home include:

  • Building equity over time
    On most home mortgages, some of your monthly mortgage payments goes towards your loan interest. You are also able to increase your homes value without having to get permission from the landlord. For instance, remodeling the kitchen or modifying your home's driveway.
  • Tax benefits
    When you own a home, you get certain tax benefits that renters don’t get, such as homestead exemption and federal tax deductions.
  • Potential for rental income
    Even if you aren’t buying your home as an investment property, you could turn it into a source of income down the road. You could do this by renting out your basement or buying a home, renting it, and buy a second home or turning your home into an Airbnb.
  • More creative freedom
    Owning your home gives you a little bit more freedom to decorate it and paint it how you want. You can change out fixtures and appliances without having to jump through hoops with the landlord.
  • Sense of belonging and community
    Since renters usually only rent out a house for a couple of years, they never really get a sense of belonging or take the time to really get to know their neighbors since they end up moving. Homeowners might be more apt to join local neighborhood associations and grow closer to their neighbors.

If you are in the market to buy a home, please contact us and we would be more than happy to help you out.