Congratulations! Buying a new home is such an exciting time. Whether this is your first home or you have done this before, there are always things to consider when buying a new home. From considering the location to thinking about your needs and what will work best for you, your pets, and your family, there are exciting choices ahead. Read on for ideas on things that you’ll want to consider when buying your new home.
Before You Get Started
Before you even begin to look for your new home, you will want to make a checklist. This will ensure you have a clear understanding of what you are looking for, what you will settle for, and what you will not settle on at all. Prioritize this list so you know where you are willing to bend and what that must-have feature or amenity is. Of all the things to do before buying your first home, this step is probably the most important. Before you meet with an ambitious realtor, you’ll want that list so that in the end you will come out with the home you were looking for.
Consider the following:
- How many bedrooms or bathrooms do you need to accommodate your family? If you will be having guests or do like to socialize. Consider whether or not you will need a guest bedroom or bathroom.
- What is your minimum square footage? Size matters when it comes to the furniture own and how many people and pets will be living in your home.
- What towns will work for you and your family’s needs? Being close to school, work, or any religious church or temple will be important. What is your transportation situation and how far are you willing to drive?
- Style of home: Do you need a one-story home for accessibility? Is there a certain type of building or floor plan you’ve always liked or wanted to live in? Think about open concept versus smaller rooms. What are your preferences and hard no’s?
- Land: How much land do you need for pets, children, or that outdoor barbeque with family?
- Neighborhood: Do you want to live close to neighbors or off on your own on a wooded lot? If you like community, development might be right for you. If you are more independent and value serenity, you could be better off further out of town.
- Cost: What is the most you are willing to pay for a home? Assess your budget and use free online mortgage calculators to figure this out ahead of time. Vow not to cross that line no matter what your realtor might show you.
- List things you absolutely must-have for your home.
- List things you can live without but would like to have.
- List your deal breakers. What are the home or property characteristics that, for you, are hard no’s?
As strange as it may sound, asking about well or town water is a must-do when looking at a new home. Regardless of whether you plan to run out and buy a water filtration system for home comfort and even safety, you will do yourself a favor if you ask those deeper questions beyond paint color and where you could put your favorite couch.
Septic, furnace, and even cooling systems are all huge things to consider when buying your home. You want to look for something that either comes with a maintenance plan or ask about where you can get one. The last thing you need when moving into your new home is immediate unexpected costs. You’ll want to spend your money on the fun parts of homeownership like that new grill or screen-house. Now is the time to ask about things like circuit breakers, fireplaces, and wells.
While you are considering bigger systems, it will be important to determine how old of a home you are interested in. Obviously, newer homes will have newer systems. At the same time, they could lack the charm and character you’ve always dreamed of. Factor this into your wish list above and consider any upgrades that would either be possible or have already been done.
Location, Location, Location
Now that you have the less interesting things out of the way, think about what might even matter most: location, location, location. Unlike when you were living in that apartment, searches like “cheap storage near me” are over when considering land for your new home. When shopping around or in that first conversation with a realtor, you will need to access your current and future needs even closer.
Are you a young couple considering having children soon? You might want to think about school districts, the proximity to playgrounds, and if this is a good spot for children to grow up too. Or maybe you’re single and are willing to live on that busy road for the perfect view of the mountains. It’s about compromise without crossing over your bottom lines. This is why that wish list will be helpful and
considering these things ahead of time and while you are out shopping for your new home will be important.
Size and Amenities
No two houses are the same. Whether your home will be a condo with amenities like a huge community room and pool or you plan to live in a rural place with long dirt driveways, the house needs to feel right for you. Like considering the location, you want to think about what each property offers you.
Are you worried about home security? Perhaps a neighborhood with a watch system in place will be important to you. What about trash removal? Do you own a vehicle that will make your own trash removal easy or do you need to be in a location where you can pay to have someone take your garbage away? The list goes on.
Have you always wanted a dog? Consider how big the yard is and whether or not it’s fenced in. Maybe that mountain view on the busy road is no longer worth it. Again, these are the things to think about, and where that list of what you would and wouldn’t settle on will serve as useful.
Potential Repair Costs
Lastly, you want to look at the cost of potential repairs. Especially if you are opting for an older home, repairs might come faster than you anticipate. Before you know it, you could quickly be calling Grand Rapids window installation or a plumber to fix the place up if you don’t do your research ahead. While repairs are part of homeownership, it’s easier when there are no surprises. So when you meet with your realtor, be sure to ask questions. Bring a notebook and that list so that you don’t forget which house is which. With a little planning, you will have a fantastic home shopping experience and be happier with your final purchase too.