Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What First Time Home Buyers Need

You're buying your first home. You have dreams of granite countertops, a beautiful wooden balcony that wraps around your house, marble floors, and more bathrooms than bedrooms - each with its own clawfoot tub. All lovely thoughts, but all things you don't actually need. When it comes to your first home, it's important to make sure you're not overlooking the things you need in a home in favor of all the things you simply want and dream about having. Here are some things that are imperative for you to think about.

How many bedrooms?

If you already have a family or you're thinking about starting one, you'll need to consider bedrooms. Do you want each kid to have their own bedroom, or can they share? Do you want an extra guest bedroom? Too many people are overwhelmed by beautiful kitchens and it results in them buying homes that may not accommodate their growing family.

How many bathrooms?

Equally as important are the bathrooms. If you have a family of five, making it work with one bathroom is going to be next to impossible. An easy rule of thumb is that for every person add a half bathroom. If there's only two of you, you only need one bathroom. If there's four of you, you probably need two bathrooms - even though you might want everyone to have a bathroom of their own.

What location?

While expensive renovations can account for a lot of early mistakes, your location will never change. That house with the bargain price looks great now - but once you have a kid and realize that every school in the neighborhood is horrible, it won't be so great anymore. When it comes to location, you have to factor in how the location affects every member or soon-to-be member of the household.

Do you want a yard?

Like location, a yard either comes with the house or it doesn't. Unless you're willing to buy the lot next to yours, you'll never have the chance to expand your yard. If you don't plan on having kids, maybe a small yard with a little patio big enough for barbecuing is perfect for you. If you want a large family, a little extra yard space never hurts.

What's your budget?

While it's unlikely a first-time home buyer will overlook this part of the shopping process, it's important to have a firm budget. If you walk up to a home and it's $50 000 out of your price range, you have to be prepared to walk away. Also, if you purchase a home you'll need to renovate, you need to factor in those costs as well. Don't forget to factor in the time it will take you to renovate.

Buying a home is a big step in anyone's life. It's easy to get swamped by the intricate wood paneling and hardwood floor and sacrifice the basic necessities. Remember - while you can always improve your floor or your counters later, it's either impossible or extremely expensive to get the needs you don't have.