Buying your first home can be an exciting time, but it’s also incredibly stressful. If you’re not used to looking at houses for sale on the real estate market, it can be easy to get carried away or overwhelmed. Where do you start looking? What’s a deal-breaker, and what’s not as big of an issue? Use this list as a beginner’s guide to shopping for your first home and things you should be on the look-out for.
While it might not seem like too big of a deal right now, having a more energy efficient home can help you save on your expenses in the long run. When you’re touring your first homes for sale, be sure to ask about the type of construction used in the building, since some types are more energy efficient than others. Modular constructions, for example, reduce energy consumption during the building process by around 67% and reduces energy costs later on for occupants.
Additionally, be sure to check the doors and windows of the home for potential drafts and heat loss. In the average home, 38% of heat loss is through windows and doors. If your home has drafty single-pane windows, heat loss through windows may increase to 50%. While these are elements that can be changed once you’ve moved in, the cost can quickly add up, meaning it’s best to avoid these fixes altogether by finding a home that’s fully up to date.
Updates And Upgrades
Even if you’re planning on purchasing a home in need of a few fixes and updates, make sure you know what you’re getting into. All homes end up needing some degree of fixing, but odds are, you’ll likely find additional things in need of repair after you close on the home. Know your renovation plans going in, and prioritize your renovations based on the potential return on investment. For example, remodeling your bathroom can expect a return on investment of 70%, making it well worth what you’ll end up spending on it.
Location, Location, Location
Finding a home in the right location for you should be one of your top priorities once you start your home search. Even if you can’t find a home in your dream neighborhood, make sure you aren’t moving too far from important landmarks in your life, like your job or school. On average, Americans drive 29.2 miles per day, making two trips with an average total duration of 46 minutes. However, moving too far outside your ideal neighborhood when shopping for homes can increase this average, meaning you’ll end up spending more money on gas and other travel expenses.
Remember Your Budget
When shopping for a first home, many people tend to get carried away. It’s easy to look at the homes that are just a bit outside of your budget and justify going with one of the slightly more expensive option. However, do your best to stick to your original budget; your future self paying off your mortgage will thank you. Keep in mind the additional closing fees and repair costs you might end up paying as well, as these can easily push you over your original intended purchase price.
Buying a home is a serious decision to make, so you want to know that you’re making the right call on which house to purchase for you and your family. Use these tips when you’re looking for your first house so you can be sure that you’re picking a home that will be a good investment for you and your future.
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