Buying a home for the first time is one of the most exciting, terrifying, and confusing experiences you will ever go through as a young adult.
You have spent months, years, or even decades cutting back expenses and grinding away with 2 or 3 jobs to make that leap.
You cut costs to save every penny you could for a down payment, and now you are ready!
But what exactly are you looking for…..?
While there are many variables to look at when you are buying a home, finding something that will suit your needs as well as maintain its value can be challenging.
You will likely pay much more for a smaller but “nicer” house with new builds and high-end finishes.
The worst decision would be letting yourself get caught up in the excitement of buying your first home. Taking on too big of a loan to buy a house you can’t afford or don’t need can have serious consequences.
Realistically your mortgage should take up ¼ – ⅓ of your monthly income, and the size of your house is ultimately up to you. There is a better foundation for buying your first home without all of the common distractions exampled above, that will ensure you get the right fit for you and anyone else who will be living with you.
Get a thorough inspection done
Getting a home inspection is required for most home sales in the modern market, but not all inspectors and inspections are the same.
Checking the boxes for big items is the first step to knowing the quality of your investment.
- The age and quality of your roof
- Are there any harmful building materials like asbestos, lead paint, lead pipes
- Has there been any water or fire damage
- Outdated electrical or plumbing fixtures
- Mold, Mildew, Radon issues
But there are also the in-between things to notice like the quality of framing in the home, where the builders cut corners, and where they did not.
If you don’t have a background in these subjects, it is challenging to spot the small things. That is where having a good inspector will help you in many ways when you find a house you like.
Renovations, both easy and hard
While we can all fantasize about reality tv shows tearing an old house apart to make it look like an amazing modern build, sometimes holding back and doing smaller projects is best.
Simple things like new paint on walls, updated floors, or new light fixtures can give a much-needed facelift to an old and outdated property.
The insight here is seeing what you can do with your own time and money because sweat equity is possibly one of the best financial investments you can make.
There will be things you may need to higher out for like plumbing, electrical, or framing new walls.
But if you can find a good eye for decor, replace simple things like doorknobs, sinks, cabinet faces, paint, DIY flooring you can find a house that no one else wants, and put the work in to make it yours.
All houses new and old, essentially are a blank canvas. Find the one that needs just the right amount of work for you, and jump into it.
Location, Location, Location
This subject can be a bit cumbersome because of growing communities and changing times. You may buy a house out in the countryside only to be in the middle of a cookie-cutter suburb 10 years later.
How close you are to schools, hospitals, and airports will also play a role in how much you are paying and also how much value your property will retain during the life of ownership.
Pay attention to smaller details as well like floodplains, HOA’s, and upcoming developments. Getting into a loan, and buying a house is really just the first step.
Where your house is now, and the place it will be in 10, 15, or 30 years is a tough prediction, but is worth paying attention to so you know how long you want to stay, and when you may want to leave.
Your first home is a special experience and is somewhat a right of passage for anyone, especially young families. It has many positives and what you put into it is a fraction of what you will get out of it in the long run. For many people around the world owning that first house is a launchpad for the rest of their lives, giving them the stability to make bolder investments and growth in their future.
Getting a thorough inspection so you know your home has good bones, being able to do small renovations yourself, and finding a great location is all part of a solid platform to aid in the purchase of your first home.
It is well worth considering if you have never pursued owning a home before.