What You Need to Consider Before Purchasing Your First Home

The home-buying process is fraught with pitfalls, but there are plenty of things to consider before selecting any home. With these guidelines in mind, you can make a sound decision that is befitting your budget and lifestyle. Here are some things you need to consider before buying your first home.

Location

Should you buy an up-and-coming area or a neighborhood that is already established? Experts recommend choosing neighborhoods with strong schools, good transportation, and businesses nearby. Buying in a neighborhood on the upswing has its perks: property values are on the rise, and the area is likely to see improvements in coming years, but it’s also important to consider how long the area has been around. If you decide to go with a “fixer-upper,” make sure you can afford the renovations necessary to help the area thrive. The location of your new home will also affect how much you pay for property tax. For example, more sought after neighborhoods might have higher taxes. If that isn’t in your budget, you may need to move to one of the “fixer-upper” neighborhoods nearby.

Size

Can you afford the home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms are you looking for? The number of people in your household will dictate this decision, but it’s also important to consider how much space each member of your family needs. As a rule of thumb, the larger your family is, the more bedrooms you’ll need. For example, you’ll probably need at least seven bedrooms if you have a family of five and three children. You’ll want to consider your growing family too. You might not have kids now, but if your long-term plan is to have a couple of kids down the road, you’ll want to plan ahead for that. Make sure there will be enough bedrooms for everyone.

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Style

Price does not always dictate style when it comes to buying a home. If you love the look and feel of an older home, but it’s out-of-reach financially, consider renting an apartment in such a home for one year while you save up for your own house. This way, you’ll get a feel for the neighborhood and lifestyle, and you will be able to afford that ideal home. You shouldn’t have to drastically settle for a house that isn’t your style. Buying a home is a big decision and investment that you shouldn’t jump into quickly.

Financials

As with any major purchase, you need to consider your budget. If you can’t afford an expensive home, don’t choose one. Save up until you can comfortably afford a home that matches your lifestyle. Will you need home loans to cover the down payment or closing costs? How are you going to pay interest on the loan? Whether or not you choose to finance your home, you’ll want to know how much you’re likely to spend on housing, utilities, and taxes. The first step to a home buying process should always be to meet with a lender. You need to know if you will even qualify for a home loan in the first place. They will help you get a realistic idea of what your budget should be as well.

Your Space Needs

Do you want to live in a house or an apartment? Is there a preference for what neighborhood the house will be situated in? How much space do you need for work? These are important considerations when choosing a home.

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While there are many instances when you would want to buy a house, for the majority of people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. If you’re planning on buying a home, it’s important to consider everything first: location, size, style, and your needs.