Buying a home is stressful, especially for first-time homebuyers. Today, the market moves so quickly that homes are gone before you have a chance to make an offer. Sometimes, it almost seems like a fight to get into a house of your own at all, not to mention landing one that you actually feel satisfied with.
When it comes to finding the right home for your needs, it’s important to keep a number of different factors in mind. Will you feel happy there? Is the home in good shape? What are the neighbors like? How does the Home Owner’s Association treat the home owners in the neighborhood? How fast is the market moving? Is that price range actually affordable on your budget? How much are you willing to sacrifice in order to buy that house?
Without a doubt, these factors can weigh heavily on your mind. Owning a home is a huge commitment and responsibility for first-time homebuyers. Analyze the factors that mean the most to your future and decide whether or not to make an offer.
Will You Feel Happy There?
When you imagine your dream home, what is it about the house that makes you smile? Make a list of those dreamy aspects and look for those features in your prospective home. If you can’t find a home within your price range that ticks off at least a few items on your dream list, ask yourself if it’s possible to incorporate those features into a property that’s more affordable.
Sometimes being patient and smart has its advantages. If the home you dream of isn’t complete without a turret window, make sure that the property you purchase can handle an addition later on. Once you’re in a position to transform your home into your dream property, go wild! Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you have to make slow gains in order to attain your dreams. Unless you can afford to buy whatever property you want, just find a home with good bones and build it into what you want later.
Is the Home in Good Shape?
We’ve all seen houses on the market that aren’t what they first appeared to be. During the pre-2008 housing boom, we saw a lot of unscrupulous home inspectors letting a lot of serious issues slide, which had a devastating impact on first-time homebuyers.
Once homeowners got into their new houses, they discovered a host of unexpected issues, such as toxic drywall, subpar roofing and insulation, studs set too far apart, mold, and more. A lot of these homeowners let their properties go into foreclosure because they couldn’t afford all the repairs they needed to perform in order to pass a sales inspection and get out from under their mortgages.
Thankfully, times have changed. Sub-prime lending is less of a problem now than it was before the market crashed, in turn reducing the number of unscrupulous or incomplete inspections and shady disclosure practices. Though stricter oversite has put an end to the majority of false inspection reports, not all home inspectors do a good job.
Only use inspection services that you’re confident are trustworthy. Real estate agents usually have a short list of inspectors that they personally know and trust and have worked with in the past. The last thing you need is to sign up for a mortgage on a money pit.
What Are The Neighbors Like?
Living in a neighborhood where you’re surrounded by friendly faces and people you genuinely enjoy being around is one of the most enriching experiences in life. Conversely, a bad neighbor can make your life miserable in so many ways. Before making an offer on a new home, be sure that the neighborhood is a good fit for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to approach the neighbors and get a feel for the community while you’re viewing properties.
How Does The Homeowners Association Treat Residents?
Homeowner’s Associations have a purpose, but it isn’t to make your life miserable. Read up on local HOA rules and regulations for the neighborhood. Speak with potential neighbors about their feelings towards the fairness of the rules that are currently in place and how those regulations are enforced. If an HOA is too restrictive, find another neighborhood. Fighting the Association will be far too expensive, frustrating, and time consuming to be worth your time as first-time homebuyers.
Is This The One You’ve Been Waiting For?
Once you find a home you love to be in and you know is in good shape, work your way down the checklist to see if it’s the one you want to buy. Is the asking price within your budget? Are the sacrifices you’ll need to make in order to move into the home worth it? Is the homeowners association’s list of rules something you can agree with and abide by? Do you fit in with the neighbors? Will you feel happy there?
If your answer to these questions is yes, you’ve probably just found a home that’s a great fit for you! Get busy making an offer and enjoy your new home!
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