Finding a First Home

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying your first home. Most new homebuyers have an idea of what their dream home would be. While you may or may not be in a financial position to get everything that you want, there are some important things to establish before you start your search.

Price range

The first consideration is to establish how much you can afford to pay for your new home. There are some amazing mortgage calculators available online and they are free to use. You simply enter your monthly income along with expenses and credit rating and you can determine how much you can afford to spend on mortgage, insurance, the downpayment and other associated fees such as closing costs.

Size of home

It’s a good idea to consider any short-term additions that you may be making to your family. Are you single, married, do you have children, will you be having more children? If you’re planning to have kids in the next few years you’ll want to have adequate space to comfortably accommodate each member of the family.

Amenities and outbuildings

RV owners may want to select a home that is equipped with outbuildings, garages or shops to store vehicles and RVs. If you have pets or children you may benefit from a fenced yard or area large enough to accommodate pets or livestock if applicable. You may also want to consider the distance from neighbors. If you are a private person who enjoys a great view, you may want to consider looking for housing in a more secluded location.

Neighborhood safety and schools

Safety is a high concern for most first time homebuyers. While home prices are generally higher in the better neighborhoods, the quality of life is generally a little better. Areas with lower crime rates are more in demand than those in sketchier areas. If you have a family or are planning to have children, you also may want to check the school ratings for the areas that you’re considering. This information is all available online with detailed statistics including demographics, academic ratings and a listing of nearby schools in the area.

Driving distance from work

If you don’t drive a car you may want to choose a home in an area that has a good public transportation system. If you do drive, take into consideration the length and time involved in commuting from your new home to work. It’s a popular choice among many homebuyers to purchase a home in the suburbs and drive to work in the metro part of the city.

Condition of the home

When you’ve narrowed your choices down to just a few homes, make sure that you have full disclosures about the condition of the homes. If you have any questions, don’t be shy about being direct. If the home shows any signs of water damage or dilapidation you may be able to negotiate a lower price, but in the long run, it may end up costing you more than a slightly higher priced home that is in excellent condition.

These are the key points that should be addressed when looking for your first home. Know what you can afford, what you want, what you need and where you want to live. It may take a while to find what you’re looking for, but taking your time can help you to avoid making some common mistakes that first-time buyers often make. Good luck in your search.