Tips for First Time Homebuyers
do you want in a home?
When making your first home purchase, most first time homebuyers have a
general idea of the type and size of a house they want, as well as the neighborhood
in which they are interested. If
you don't have the type of house in mind, it would be helpful to have a sense
of the types of home construction that are available in the market. Are you interested in a 2 story, wood frame
home with 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, and a 2 car attached garage? Knowing the types of homes available on the
market will give you a starting point from which you can begin to narrow the
field of possibilities.
Take some time to make a "wish list" of styles of homes to share with
your real estate agent. This step will be most helpful to both you and your agent
as you begin to narrow the list of homes that will suit your family's interests
For many first time homebuyers, the location of the home is their most
important consideration; for many others, location may not be of great
importance. You probably know already whether you will be shopping for a
home in an urban, suburban, or rural setting. You may already know
exactly what neighborhood you want to live in. All of these "location"
considerations will be helpful to you in narrowing your new home buying
When buying a home give some thought to the
community in which your want to live. This is a big lifestyle decision. Many people choose their neighborhood and
community based on the quality of schools. Is access to shopping and public
transportation of great importance to you? What about access to the public library or
arts and entertainment venues? Are you the kind of person that won't be happy
unless you have a little land with their home?
If so, this factor will likely direct you and your real estate agent to
neighborhoods and communities that will be of interest.
When you find a neighborhood/community
that you like, talk to people that live there. Talk to them about schools and
shopping, as well as places of worship and other factors that are of importance
to you and your family. When you purchase a home, you're buying more than a
roof and 4 walls. Your prospective neighbors know the most about the area and
can provide some valuable insight. More than anything, you want a neighborhood
where you feel comfortable and having conversations with prospective neighbors
prior to making an offer on a new home will give you a pretty good sense of the
neighborhood in which you're about to move into.
Construction vs. an Older home
It's not always the case, but many first time homebuyers
purchase an already existing home.
However, you may have your heart set on moving into a new home. Whatever
your preference, making this decision upfront will be just one more step in
narrowing the field of home choices.
Some of the advantages that come with a new home are
that newer homes tend to have more highly efficient heating and cooling
systems. This feature is not only good
for our environment, but also good on your pocketbook by holding down the cost
with your utility bills. New homes often are clustered together with the same
size and style homes in the same price range, so if you are concerned about
your home looking like all the other homes in the neighborhood, you may want to
consider an older home.
Older homes come in all sizes and
personalities. However, depending on its age, an older home may require a
bit of an investment to bring up to your liking. Often times, the kitchens and baths are the
first items on the list for investments in renovations. If you enjoy working with
your hands and seeing the results of your hard labor, maybe a "fixer-upper" is
in your future. Not only do you have the opportunity to make
the improvements that you desire, but often a fixer-upper is the type of home
that can be purchased at an attractive price.
When buying a home, there are many important considerations such as:
- Is the number and size of
rooms right for your needs?
- Will the rooms accommodate
- Is the house large enough
for your family size, both today and in the next 3 -5 years?
- Is the size of the lot what
- Is space for a yard, garden,
or off-street parking important to you?
You should also consider whether there are any particularly important
special requirements such as:
- Do you need space for the
kids to play out of the major traffic areas of the home?
- Do you need extra space for
- Is an attached garage
necessary? Two cars or three?
- A second bathroom?
- A porch?
There are a
lot of considerations that go into purchasing a home and even more to think
about when purchasing your first home. Take
your time, ask good questions and rely on your real estate agent to guide you
through the process. Christine Mastis
has many years of experience in helping first time homebuyers work through the
maze of questions to ultimately find the right home for you and your
Contact Us to help you
in making that first home purchase one that you will be happy with for many
years to come.