Real Estate

Find Your Focus: The 3 Things That Really Matter When Buying A First Home

published Jul 24, 2017
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

There’s no denying that buying your first home is a very exciting thing. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fantasy of finding your dream home that it can sometimes be hard to focus on what you really need.

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While cool ceiling beams and a spacious yard matter, they shouldn’t be your top considerations. Read on below to find out what factors really matter when buying your first home and keep them in mind while house hunting to help ensure you end up in the property that’s truly the best fit for you.

Your Commute

Commute tends to be an area where most first-time homeowners compromise, but we’d advise against it. While it’s true that you can get more for your money if you’re willing to travel further out, a long commute can have a huge psychological impact.

When zeroing in on your target neighborhoods, you should take into account how many hours you’ll be spending in the car each week, as well as whether or not the distance might keep you from enjoying more important things like time spent with your friends and family. It’s best to focus buy within an area that strikes a balance between affordability and your overall quality of life.

Rental or Resale Potential

These days, your first home probably won’t be your forever home. Whether you move for a job or to accommodate a growing family, you’ll likely be looking to sell at some point. With that in mind, it’s important to ensure your property will be attractive to future buyers.

As for what qualities make homes appealing, location is key. Make sure the home you purchase is in a good area and, if possible, one that’s close to amenities like shops and restaurants or public transportation. Other factors like decently-affordable taxes or

Maintenance Costs

As a first-time homeowner, the prospect of home maintenance will probably be new to you. Gone are the days of being able to call your landlord and have him or her handle a running toilet or snow-filled sidewalk. While you’re house hunting, you should be realistic about how much maintenance you’re willing to take on.

This comes into play with both the initial condition of the house and its continued upkeep. Be honest with yourself about whether you’re able to undertake remodeling projects or if it’s worth it to invest in a turnkey home instead. Additionally, consider whether you’re going to want to commit your time to doing regular yard work or if you’d rather limit your search to HOA’s where some maintenance tasks are included.

Whichever scenario you prefer, don’t forget that you need to factor in the budget for any needed renovations. Remodeling projects cost money, even if you’re handling the labor, and homeowner’s associations included added fees. Be sure to budget for them during your search so that you end up with a home that you can comfortably afford.