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5 Critical Features to Look at When Buying Your First Home

You’ve been dreaming of buying your first home for years. Congratulations, now you’re ready to start making your dream a reality! Buying a home is an amazing step for you and your family, and transitioning into home-ownership is worth the investment. When you’re relaxing on your porch watching your kids make memories in the backyard, you’ll be grateful you took the plunge. 

We know you have a lot on your plate, and buying a first home isn’t easy. Having a checklist of critical features to look at when buying your first home can help you stay organized. 

Check out this handy guide!

#1 Location, Location, Location
You’ve heard this saying before for a reason—location really is everything. From school districts, to safety, to projected real estate market fluctuations, where you decide to purchase your first home can determine more than just your new neighbors. 

Doing your research is critical because even if an area looks nice, you still need to dive into the nitty-gritty of the neighborhood. The house itself might be perfect, but it won’t feel like home unless the location is right too. 

#2 (Long-Term) Goal Worthy
As a first-time buyer, you may be used to the freedom renting provides. Most leases only last a year or two, meaning you can change your mind at the end of the term. Buying a home is incredibly different because even if you decide to move, you’ll still be financially impacted by your first home due to factors like how much you owe on your mortgage.

To ensure your purchasing strategy makes sense in the long-run, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How long do you see yourself living in your first home?

  • Do you have plans to invest in more real estate in the future?

  • Does it make sense to raise a family in your first home?

  • Is your career path on a trajectory that will allow you to purchase a bigger home down the line? 

#3 Affordability 
We know that one of the most stressful parts of buying your first home is figuring out how to pay for it. If the prospect of making such a big purchase is overwhelming, we encourage you to take a deep breath. It’s normal to be stressed about this part of the process, but don’t worry—you have options.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need a lot of cash upfront to apply for a mortgage. Although everyone’s financial circumstances are different, by doing a little research you may be surprised about the kinds of mortgage options available. 

Look into how to get a VA loan, how to get an FHA loan, and how to qualify for an affordable loan solution mortgage. Even if you don’t think you qualify for these types of low-interest, low down payment mortgages, you won’t know until you dig deeper. 

#4 Renovations, Repairs, & Maintenance
Determining how much elbow grease a potential new home will require isn’t just about the manual labor. The added costs of repairs, renovations, and maintenance can add up quickly, and many first time buyers don’t account for these expenses. Having windows repaired can add a lot of value to your home. Consider re-glazing them to give them a whole new look. If you need guidance, double glazing Bristol is a great place to start.

#5 Make a List—and then Prioritize it 
You’re already a master list-maker, and you’re constantly checking things off your to-do list to keep your household running. Buying your first home is a great time to put your list-making skills to use!

Before you put an offer in on your dream house, you need to make a list. The list should include features you’d love to have in your new home.

Below is an example of items your list might include:

  • Enough bedrooms to accommodate a growing family
  • A washer and dryer for that endless cycle of laundry 
  • A renovated kitchen so you can keep your family happy and healthy
  • Backyard space for the four-legged members of your clan

Once you’ve made your list, here comes the difficult part—you need to prioritize the features that matter most. Your first home might not have every feature on your list, so ranking what’s most important to you will help you keep an open mind while still advocating for what you want. 

We’re Proud of You! 
Buying your first home is a huge accomplishment, and you should be proud of yourself. As you begin this exciting journey, remember that this is your first home, and no one expects you to be a home-buying expert right off the bat. If you use the tips above and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it, buying your first home will be easier than you think.

Happy house hunting! 

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