Where to Start When
Buying Your First Home?

home remodeling tid-bits

by Ann Martin

Buying your first home can be such an overwhelming experience. But if you can keep a few important points in mind, buying a home will be more of a joyous occasion than a stressful one.

First, determine your budget. We all know that we can't always afford the home of our dreams. So, it is realistic to determine what you can afford. You should also under budget yourself by about $10,000 in order not to spread yourself too thin. Remember, once you buy a home, it is not just the mortgage you need to pay every month. Household utility bills, possibly home owner association dues, and other service such as trash pick up will all need to be budgeted for. It would be wise to purchase a home slightly under your budget in order to compensate for these other bills.

Second, determine where you would like to live. Would you prefer an easier commute to work or school? Is being able live close to your family important? Would you like to live closer to the city or maybe even further away? Decide what factors are important to you when deciding upon a location for your future home. Don't forget if you already have a family or plan to have a family, look into the school district in which your home will be located in.

Third, decide what aspects of a home are important for you to have. Do you currently live in a two bedroom apartment and are looking for a house that has more bedrooms? How about the number of bathrooms? Do you find it necessary to have an eat-in kitchen? It is important to know what you need or are looking for in a home as it eliminates many options and you can stay focused on the houses that fit your criteria.

Fourth, keep in mind special amenities that you may want to have in your house. Sometimes that can't always fit within your home-buying budget, but you may be willing to sacrifice that half bath for a beautiful stone fireplace in the family room. Would you rather have the home office or garden tub in the master bathroom? You can't necessarily have everything, but if you are willing to trade certain aspects of a home for others, you'll feel as though you can have everything.

Fifth, be prepared to compromise. Finding that perfect home can be excruciating if your expectations are set too high. Consult with your realtor and spouse and let them know what is important to you. Set two or three of those items at the top of the list and then list the other items of by order of importance. Especially by showing the realtor your "must-have's" it is then easier for him or her to select homes which they think you would like and resulting in less wasted time at looking at homes that don't fit the bill. By willing to compromise, you'll be sure to keep your mind open to new ideas and to new homes.

Home Improvement:
improving your home purchase

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