Buying your first house is a huge, huge step both financially and personally. In fact, it’s probably the most significant purchase you’re ever going to make! Because of that, it’s absolutely essential that you make informed decisions throughout the entire process. There are loads of factors you need to consider, which can definitely feel stressful but don’t worry because we’re here to help. To make things simple, we’ve narrowed it down to three crucial things to look for when scouring the market to buy your first house. It’s necessary to take these factors into consideration because they’ll influence not only your living situation but also the long-term value of your investment.
Location: The Prime Real Estate Principle
Oftentimes, real estate agents will tell you the three most critical factors to consider when buying a house are “location, location, location”. While you may laugh at the playfulness behind this comment, this phrase holds true for several reasons. For one, finding a house in a good location can provide better potential for property value growth over time.
If this is something you care about, look for houses in close proximity to schools, shopping centers, or transportation hubs. They don’t even need to be built yet - if you know they’re in development, it’ll definitely increase your property value in time.
On the other hand, the quality of the neighbourhood is another factor that can significantly impact your lifestyle.
A safe neighbourhood with a strong community can offer you peace of mind and enhance your enjoyment in your new home. If you’re looking to have kids (or already have some), this is definitely something you need to consider. You should also take note of how convenient the location is for running daily errands like grocery shopping.
Is it out of the way? Or is it close enough that it won’t be a hassle? These are important factors to think over as they can greatly alter your lifestyle. Besides, you can always renovate your home, but you can’t change its location.
Condition of the House: More Than What Meets the Eye
While the exterior appearance of a house might look like the perfect, dream home for you, don’t be blinded by its looks. It’s essential that you always dig deeper to learn the condition of the home. From structural issues to outdated electrical systems, plumbing problems, and poor insulation, these sorts of necessary repairs can quickly turn your dream home into an expensive money pit.
It’s certainly a good idea to hire a professional home inspector during your home-buying process so you have all the information required to make an informed decision.
An inspector helps you by evaluating the home’s condition and pinpointing any current or potential problems. While it may seem like an unnecessary extra expense when you’re already juggling many costs, hiring an inspector is an investment you won’t regret - just imagine all the future headaches they’ll save you when they provide you with a clearer picture of what you’re getting into.
Affordability: Understanding Your Financial Boundaries
Last but by no means last, we have to discuss affordability.
Look, buying a house comes at a pricey cost. It’s easy to fall in love with a home that’s out of your price range, but that will undoubtedly lead you to financial strain in the future. It’s also worth noting that the cost of the home extends beyond just the listing price - there are property taxes, insurance, maintenance, renovations, and repairs to consider. Don’t forget to factor in the potential interest rates on your mortgage too.
So before you even start looking, determine a budget you can afford and do your best to stick to it.
For a more concrete idea of what your budget should be, consider getting a pre-approval for your mortgage. Because at the end of the day, buying within your means is absolutely crucial. It’s better to buy a less expensive home you can afford, so you can have financial freedom that reduces your stress. Would you truly be happy living in an expensive house but constantly struggling with the bills?
Probably not. Your first home should be an exciting and joyful endeavor, not one that’s filled with financial stress and burdens.
By focusing on these three important aspects (location, condition, and affordability), we’re sure you’ll be able to navigate the buying process with ease and confidence. The key to making the best purchase is staying well-informed and patient.
Just keep a level head and you’ll soon be on your way to finding the perfect house that’s fit for you.