Picking the Right House: Tips For First-Time Home Buyers Beginning Their Search

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 2:34pm.

Guide to the Process of Buying a HomeIf you're a new home buyer, the process of choosing and buying a house can be a little intimidating. Picking the right home can be a challenge if you've never shopped for properties before. Knowing what to look for and how to prioritize can help you pick a first home that you'll love for many years to come.  

Know Your Must-Haves

Before you can begin a search for your perfect home, be it in Black Mountain or elsewhere, you'll need a list of must-haves. Populate this list with items you'll want your house to have right away, without needing to pay for a renovation.

  • Consider household growth. Buy a home that can accommodate more individuals so you won't be stuck selling your first home if your family grows. 
  • Consider your commute time and job opportunities in the future. Know how much time you're willing to spend commuting, so you'll know which locations are best. 
  • Make a list of the things you want to do at your home. Is swimming in a backyard pool important to you? Do you want to garden? Would you like to entertain friends on your deck? Knowing these things in advance can help you  single out properties that fit your needs.  

Look Past Cosmetic Damage

Many first time home buyers are on a tight budget, which means that they often find themselves considering homes that need repairs. Some types of damage (like water damage or deferred maintenance) can make a home difficult to live in, but cosmetic damage is livable and easily repaired. Learn to look past cosmetic damage when viewing homes. Learn to appreciate properties that simply need a little elbow grease and a few coats of paint.

Know Your Budget

Up front costs like transfer fees and the down payment can use up home buyer resources before they ever move in. Once the purchase is complete, expenses continue from there. As a home buyer, it's important to consider all the costs before deciding how much house you can afford to buy. Work with your lender to determine the size of the mortgage you can comfortably afford, and take into account the hidden costs of buying a home while you decide how much you can afford to spend. Some of the hidden costs of buying a home include:

  • Moving fees. Contact moving companies in advance to get quotes for moving. Moving companies can range from full-service movers to DIY moving companies that simply rent out trucks. Contact a range of companies so you can decide what type of moving companies are right for you.
  • Insurance and taxes. Once you're living in your house, you'll need to make insurance and tax payments on the property. Contact insurance companies and talk to your real estate agent to determine how much you can expect to pay.
  • Repairs. Expect to pay about 1% of the purchase price on the house in annual repairs on the property. Keep this in your budget as you decide how much you can afford to spend on your house.

Work With an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Working with an experienced real estate agent can help you decide what kind of home to look for, how much you can afford to spend and where is the best place for you to buy. Your real estate agent can show you a variety of properties and ease you into the home buying process. 

Justin Havre

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