Buying your first house is an exciting experience, no matter what age you are when you are going into it. Whether you are buying alone or making a shared investment, houses are not cheap, and investing in one is a big step, so you will want to arm yourself with all the knowledge you can before signing on the dotted line. So, what are the things that first-time house buyers should be paying attention to? Here are some house hunting tips for first-time home buyers.
Your own wishes
The last thing you want is a house that you are not happy with. Be real with yourself from the start, and don’t think that a problem with the room layout can be fixed by a fresh coat of paint. Set your priorities and hunt for the house that ticks the boxes on the top of the list. Your priorities will, of course, depend on you and your personality, but they should be a healthy combination of wishes and needs. So if you want to have a separate dining room, that’s perfectly fine, but understand that unless you are professionally hosting dinner parties every night, you might have to settle for a screen that divides the space visually. However, some things are okay to stick to: everyone having their own separate bedroom, having an outdoor space or having an attic.
Pro tip 1: make a list
So, the best way you can ensure that you’ve made the right decision is to make a list and see how many things can be ticked off. The list should include both the “wants” and “needs” columns, so that you can actually see which criteria does the house meet. If only the “needs” have been met, you might want to reconsider your decision, as you’ll likely be able to find a property that includes things from both columns.
Keep an open mind
As mentioned earlier, chances are that you`ll have to invest some time and research to find a property that ticks all of the boxes, and that’s fine. So, you need to be ready and willing to compromise, but you also need to know what you should make a compromise about. For instance, you might find yourself in the situation where even though the property is not like you envisioned it in the first place, you can still find it perfect for living and raising a family. In Australia, for instance, you can easily find attractive house and land packages in Sydney that consist of a land but also a pre-built home. Some of those packages are designed for first-time buyers on a budget, while others are designed for a luxury lifestyle home-owners. That’s why it’s important to explore all the possibilities until you find something that mostly – or entirely – fits your needs.
Pro tip 2: have a future-oriented mindset
Finally, when buying a house, make sure that you’re not just thinking about “here” and “now”. Instead, try to look towards the future, at least a bit. What this means is that you should always choose a property that leaves enough place to grow instead of the one that’s enough to satisfy your current needs.
Plan your budget wisely
We already know that buying a house is a huge investment, but how much that really is depends solely on you. A good pointer can be to ask yourself how long you plan on staying in that house. If you are planning on moving on in less than six years, then an investment that will drain all of your savings might not be the best idea. However, if you are there to stay, then feel free to invest a larger sum because it will get back to you over time. Another thing to think about is whether you would like to invest a lot of money at the start or gradually invest over time. This will be the difference between buying a brand new house, completely furnished and ready to go; and buying a house that needs some fix-ups that can be done in the future. Both choices are completely valid and completely up to you and your funds.
Pro tip 3: account for the move as well
When determining a budget, you will also want to account for the move itself. This is something people usually forget to do, so they often end up breaking their budget. However, if you account for the move in the very beginning, it will be significantly easier to determine the budget as accurately as possible.
Remember that what makes up a home are the people who live in it and the details they bring. You can make every house feel like your home with the right details, so when you are looking for a house, try to think of its potential, not what you see at that moment. And if that house doesn’t turn out to be exactly what you dreamed of – that is completely okay. Live in it, learn from it and make notes for the next time. We often don’t even know exactly what we want from a house. So, living a few years as a renter can give you a very good idea of how things actually are. But if you do your best and find the good things, you can make a warm and happy home, no matter what.
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We hope you found this blog on House Hunting Tips for First-Time Home Buyers useful. Also be sure to check out 10 Tips For Buying A New Home.
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