The time has finally come for you to move into your first home. But living in an apartment or your parent’s house may not have fully prepared you for what’s to come. There are several things you’ll want to look for when buying your first house. Let’s take a look.
- Know Your Nonnegotiables
Before you start your house hunting venture, you’ll want to make sure you have a list of your nonnegotiables. These are things that are important to you when looking to your future.
Perhaps you want a minimum of three bedrooms or a space to utilize for your home office. Or maybe you want to have additional amenities a community may offer, such as a gym, pool, backyard aerating pond fountain with lights, or community center.
Knowing what these are will help your realtor be able to narrow down the search for you. They might not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in your budget, but they’ll know right off the bat which houses they can exclude when scheduling showings for you.
House hunting doesn’t mean you go and look at every available house on the market. Unfortunately, the housing market is incredibly competitive. So you want to be absolutely sure of what your budget is.
Work with a lender to get pre-approved for a loan before you visit any potential homes. This will allow you to know what you can realistically afford.
Plus, buyers will take you more seriously if they know you have financial backing if you choose to put an offer down.
Where you intend to live sets the scene for the rest of your life. The neighborhood can affect things such as proximity to work, school districts, or establishments nearby.
If you’re moving from out of town, it’s best to visit the area before you start to look at buying a house. You’ll want to get a feel for the different neighborhoods because what you find online isn’t always what you get in person.
You also want to look at the specific surroundings of the house you may want to buy. Is there any nearby transportation? Are there loud trains or other construction happening near your potential house? Make sure to take both a macro and micro look at the location before making an offer.
- Inspect The Areas You Can’t See Right Away
It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful cabinetry in the kitchen or the porcelain tub in the primary bathroom. But several other elements aren’t always seen by the naked eye.
Make sure you get a thorough look at the exterior. Ask when the last time the roof was replaced or if any foundational issues have come up.
Things like rot or mold in the siding or cracks in the foundation will become an additional cost down the road. Be sure to hire a professional to do an official home inspection of the house before signing any contracts.
- Cost Of Living
Aside from paying for your monthly mortgage, there are many other financial responsibilities on your shoulders now that you’re becoming a homeowner. Things like local property taxes and homeowners insurance are just the start.
You’ll also need to look at the overall cost of living in the area you intend to buy. You may have gotten a great price on the house, but ask yourself if the cost of living exceeds your normal budget.
Things like utility bills or even weekly groceries are expenses that can add up quickly if you’re not careful.
- Take A Look At The Landscape
While a house might have a beautiful and elaborate landscape to spruce up its curb appeal, there is a level of responsibility that comes along with it. The more acres you have, the more upkeep the lawn will require, such as mowing and watering.
If there are other aesthetically pleasing gardens and plants, you’ll have to do the necessary maintenance throughout the year for these, too.
If you’re not willing to pay someone to do the work for you, take some time to consider if this is something you want to do yourself.
Buying a house is not just about how beautiful it feels inside or how much natural light is coming through the windows. There are several other elements involved that require much more responsibility whether it’s financially or even with physical labor.
But if you have your nonnegotiables set up from the beginning, you’ll have an easier time finding your dream home.