Buying a new home is a huge investment, so you want to be sure that you’re happy with your choice before you sign the papers.
Here are 6 things to consider before deciding on your first home.
- Prioritize the things you can’t change. Make sure you’re happy with details like: location (distance from school, employer, amenities, entertainment), size, construction quality, neighborhood safety/noise level, public transit, air pollution, and other things you can’t adjust. Don’t focus on details you can change like paint color, wallpaper, home layout, or furniture.
- Think about the neighborhood. Of course, find a safe neighborhood in an area you can see yourself living in. But also think about the value. If you move into an area with little room for expansion, your home will maintain value more than if you move into an area with ample room for new homes.
- Avoid noise. Apart from being a nuisance, if your home is close to busy roadways or community centers, it will be harder to sell in the future.
- Look for land. Did you know that land appreciates in value, while homes depreciate in value? Finding a house with a lot of acreage will help you when it’s time to sell!
- Remember, this is your first home. Your first home should focus more on utilities than having all those dream home features. As tempting as it is to find that perfect, expensive home – stick with a mortgage you can pay off so you can build equity and buy your dream home when the time is right (and you can afford it).
- Don’t plan to stay forever. Most people sell their first home in 5-8 years. As you search, plan to stay there for about 7 years, not 15-30. This will take some of the pressure off.
All in all – don’t put too much pressure on yourself when buying your first home. Focus on finding a home in an area you like that will keep its value and serve your family where you are now. You’ll likely sell within a decade anyways! Find more home-ownership tips at home.llc.