When you’re looking for a new house, there are tons of things to consider. What matters to one person, might not matter to another. One thing we have learned over our years of working with first-time home buyers in West Michigan is that buying a home is very personal. That’s why it’s so important that you look inward as you begin this journey. Think about your needs, your family’s needs and your vision of the future rather than what other people may be telling you.
Today we want to share with you some of our best advice for first-time homebuyers. We hope that these practical tips make the process of home buying less stressful and more fun. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started now.
We always advise our homeowners to have an honest conversation with their spouse before they do out shopping. Work together to create a list of all the things you’re looking for in your home. This will allow you to work together, rather than feel frustrated by one another. We wrote a post awhile back that shared a great list of questions you should answer as a couple in home buying process. If you haven’t gone through this activity together, we highly advise you to hop over there now and check it out!
The things you may want in your “forever” home are different than what you may be looking for in your starter home. It’s important that you have a realistic understanding of these wants and needs before you begin your home buying process. As you start looking for your home, get real with yourself and your immediate needs.
HGTV shows have a way of romanticising “fixer-upper” homes. Trust us when we tell you that home repairs take longer than a commercial break. As your begin to look at homes, make sure you have a true understanding of what is livable for you and your family. How much can you afford in renovations? How much time will have to make these renovations once you move in? Buying a fixer-upper can be fun, but it isn’t for everyone. Understand what you are capable of accomplishing before you make your offer.
If you’re buying a house in the spring or summer, make sure that you don’t forget about your winter commute. Driving to work on a snowy Michigan morning can often be brutal. Make sure that your home is a safe distance away from your work. Everyone is different, we know. But please take some time and think about your route to work. Ask yourself honestly: Are you willing to drive there in a blizzard? As your realtors, we don’t want a new season to ruin your impression of your new home.
There’s no way around it, if you buy a home, at some point, you will have to invest in repairs. When you’re setting a budget for your home, consider how much money you still want to keep in your savings. It’s always a good idea to have some extra money in your savings for unexpected home repairs.
Sunlight makes a major difference for both our moods and the appearance of our homes. But, how much sunlight you want and what kind of sunlight you want, is a very personal decision. As you are touring homes, ask your realtor what kind of sunlight each home gets. Are the windows eastward or westward facing? Are their large trees blocking your windows? All of these things will make a difference in the amount of sunlight that enters your home.
While many of us like living in a neighborhood, close to others, there are others who prefer to live in a more secluded area. As you are house hunting, make sure that you are aware of each home’s exposure to its neighbors. Do you mind hearing children playing outside? Are you okay with a shared driveway? How large would you like your plot of land to be? These are personal preferences that you must determine for yourself. Make sure that the home you make an offer on doesn’t leave you feeling too exposed or lonely.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, we hope that you will take the time to consider these questions as you house hunt. Should you have any questions about the home buying process, please reach out to us today.
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