Buying

5 Things You Need to Check Before Buying Your First Home

Story Highlights
  • #1 - Location, location, location
  • #2 - Size matters when it comes to the stand
  • #3 - The number of bathrooms matters
  • #4 - Expenses get expensive
  • #5 - Inspect what you can

Buying your first home is an exciting venture and a very important investment for your future. You’re likely going to spend quite a long time in this home, so you’d best make the purchase count.

First-time homebuyers are often lost when it comes to the ins and outs of purchasing a home, which is why it’s so important that they inform themselves.

If you’re in this situation right now, here are a few things that you must check when buying your dream home:

#1 – Location, location, location

Most first-time homebuyers will take great care in choosing the location of their new home.

It has to be close to your place of work, while also being convenient for travel for most locations that you frequent. However, this is where people get caught up and forget that there are more important location concerns.

Having easy access to the road is crucial.
If you’re close to the entrance point, it’s going to give you better access to the road, which means you get to arrive at your desired destination quickly. A close-by home doesn’t matter much if the driving distance is extended by bad road placement.

On the other hand, this also depends on your preferences for living in the home. If you want peace and quiet, or want to install a pool in your backyard, picking a home that is farther from the entrance would be preferable.

Less overall noise will contribute to your everyday experience, so keep that in mind. Make sure your location matches all your wants and needs, as this is where you’ll be living for a long while.

#2 – Size matters when it comes to the stand

When you’re checking out a home, you’re obviously going to consider the size of it before deciding whether or not to purchase. However, you can’t just look at the size of the home, you also have to check out the size of the erf (aka stand size).

Where one stand ends and another begins can be a deciding factor for the home-buying process. If you want to install hedges to increase privacy for your backyard, the stand has to allow for it. Building another segment of the home will require a larger erf.

Always consider the stand size for future plans before deciding on a home. It could make for an even better investment.

#3 – The number of bathrooms matters

Picking out a home will require you to check the room count. It might sound straightforward but it will avoid issues down the line. You have to account for all the rooms you need for your family, including extra bedrooms if you want to have more kids. This isn’t too difficult of a task, as you only need a headcount. 

Picking bathrooms is a different story, as it depends on logistics and preferences. Some people prefer extra privacy with their bathroom privileges, and sharing a geyser isn’t fun when others shower for a while. Not to mention, bathrooms are more difficult to install, so you would be better off with an exact number to start with.

#4 – Expenses get expensive

While buying a home might seem like a straightforward purchase, it’s far from it. There are a lot of extra fees and expenses that come with buying and maintaining a home. Just mention the property taxes (ie rates) and perhaps home association fees, and you will already have your hands full!

The home maintenance, repairs and insurance should be on your mind as well. These expenses are often a problem for first-time homebuyers, as they don’t prepare their budgets for them.

Conscientious real estate agents will always make it a priority to fully inform you of your home’s expenses, even when they aren’t included in the price. Make sure you consult with yours before deciding on a home. Ask the right questions and you’ll get what you need.

Make sure you form a budget that will account for all of these expenses. Adding at least 5-10% to the original budget should cut it, and playing it safe won’t cause you any harm.

#5 – Inspect what you can

It’s important that you verify everything that’s in the listing for the home.

Some home sellers and/or real estate agents might not be completely truthful when it comes to the correct presentation of the home, and you might not get the exact investment you were aiming for.

Verify what exactly stays with the home and what doesn’t. Some things are considered fixtures, while others could be well on their way to another home before you move in.

Other elements will need to be inspected by a professional. Find a home inspector for an independent look at your home. If they give you the all-clear, you should be good.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things to check out when buying your first home. Without a thorough inspection and a good real estate agent, you might as well be going in blind.

Inform yourself about all the different aspects of the home that need to be cleared before you make the purchase. It’s going to save you a lot of worry and potential headaches.

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