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A Few More Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

A Few More Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is an emotionally as well as financially challenging project. Long before you even begin making a moving checklist, you must make critical decisions affecting your life for several years to come.

A priority is making sure the home you are buying is large enough for your future needs — especially if you have a growing family.

Once you decide on the house size, you might want to consider whether a turnkey home or a home in need of some fixing best fits your financial ability and skill level. With a growing family, fixing a larger home may be your best answer.

Life In Your First Home

Financing and size are important, but you also want your first home to be functional. The house layout, number of rooms and location all need careful thought. Make your own list of what is important after considering these factors:

Will you be having the entire family over for holidays, and will the college crowd be there for the ballgames? If so, you’ll want an open layout with more than one bathroom, and maybe a guest room if people will be sleeping over.

  • Will anyone need a quiet place for working from home?
  • How about your work commute? Is 25 miles too far? Will you be near a freeway entrance? Will your back yard adjoin that freeway, making it impossible to have a quiet BBQ? Do you need enough room to add a patio or deck?
  • How large of a garage is needed? Two cars plus storage? Will you be able to stop paying for a storage unit? RV parking?
  • How much privacy is needed? Should the master bedroom be at the opposite end of the house from the family room and children’s bedrooms?

If you are super organized, the decisions you make here will flow all of the way through your house-buying project to ultimately determine what goes on your moving checklist. And there's more to consider.

See Also: First-Time Homeowner Mistakes — And How to Avoid Them

Your New Home Protects You All Seasons Of The Year

Summer and the fall are the most active times for homebuyers. This also means you are viewing houses in the best seasons of the year. You need to consider how the house will hold up during the harsher winter season.

This is especially important if you’re buying a fixer and don’t want a leaking roof the first winter in your new home. But it goes beyond the inside of the house.

A steep driveway isn’t a big deal during the fall months, but can become impossible to navigate with winter snow and ice on it. If the driveway slopes down into the garage, you may have a river running through it after a heavy rain.

Are you interested in reducing your energy costs by putting solar panels on the roof? You’ll want to consider the orientation of the roof to the sunshine. In most locations, you want a roof facing south by southwest. Back yard or side yard sunshine is also important if you want to grow a garden.

Life In Your New Neighborhood

After considering the inside and outside of your new home, take a walk and drive around the neighborhood. What do you want in your new neighborhood?

  • Off-leash dog park?
  • Walking trails?
  • Of course, you need to check out the children’s new schools.
  • Also visit the library, parks, community center, grocers and other retailers.

As you progress through each consideration for your first home, keep that moving checklist handy. In addition to what you need to pack up, give away and disconnecting utilities, you’ll want to include a section prioritizing what you need to acquire to make your first home a happy home.


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