Buying your first home is a momentous event, especially if you’re a millennial. Unlike older, more seasoned homebuyers who have seen and done it all, acquiring your first piece of real estate is often both exhilarating and stressful. One one hand, you can’t wait to move into a place you can call your own. On the other hand, you have so many things to consider, questions to answer and items to prepare, it can get a bit nerve-wracking.
The good thing is that if you plan carefully, you’ll increase your potential of having the home you want and being ready to buy when the time is right. This is important, because unlike living in an apartment where you can uproot and go elsewhere after your annual lease expires, it’s pretty likely that your starter home will be your residence for several years. This is why you want the place that’s right for you.
So let’s say you’re saving for your down payment and have a healthy bank account. It won’t be long before you’re ready to plunk down your check and sign on the dotted line. Have you thought about the type of home you want, the location and other factors? For most people, buying a home takes a lot of time. It’s not unusual for first-time buyers to look at any number of potential dwellings before deciding on which to buy. There are so many factors to consider, which is why you need a real estate agent with whom you can work.
When you first meet with your agent, it’s important that you be completely transparent regarding your wants and your needs. The more information we have, the more effectively we can serve your needs and get you into your home sooner than later.
One mistake some first-time buyers often make is evaluating potential homes from the inside rather than the outside. Of course, you’ll be attracted to certain specific room sizes, amenities, number of floors, and other factors. But what you really want to do is first consider the home from the outside. For example, is it in a location that suits your needs? Is it close to the stores at which you shop, the night spots or entertainment/lifestyle venues you frequent, the school your children attend, and the bus stop, if that’s your mode of transportation? Remember, you’re going to be living here for a while, so location is very important.
Another thing to consider, location-wise, is the character of the neighborhood itself. Do you prefer a quiet location or an area that has a bit of hustle and bustle? Would you want to live in an area with lots of younger adults or do you want something more laid-back. Do you enjoy the concrete, glass and steel of the city or are you more of a leafy cul-de-sac person. Every neighborhood has its unique characteristics, and it’s good to consider those things up front.
Next, you’ll want to consider the size of the house. Most starter homes are on the smaller size, meaning that they aren’t built to accommodate the Brady Bunch or the Partridge Family. If you’re single or part of a couple, smaller might be a good choice since you don’t really need a ton of space. On the other hand, a small-ish family with, say, a couple, a child or two and one or more family pets would need something a little larger. Larger generally costs more (depending on location, of course), so factor that in.
Finally, consider the state of the building itself. Do you want a house that’s been well-maintained and has all or mostly new fixtures, including a trouble-free furnace and plumbing or would you actually prefer to do-it-yourself and correct things that are not working well and repair items that are broken.
So much to consider, but you do want to think all these items through. From my standpoint as a real estate professional, the more I know about what you’re looking for, the more efficiently I can help you zero in on your first home.