Buying a house is an amazing milestone. It’s something most of us dream of our whole lives, to have a place that’s our own, to call home. Many people save for years, putting every paycheck away to be one step closer to homeowner status. You might even want to build a home from the ground up – a project that can take years but is ultimately super rewarding. If you’re starting a family, the pressure might be on to find the right home for you and your growing brood. The prospect is all so exciting, but like any dream, once you achieve it, reality can soon set in. Being a homeowner is not all fun. The process of buying, and then maintaining a house can bring a whole load of problems you never envisioned. From hidden costs to unforeseen repairs to housing market fluctuations – here are four things to remember when buying your first home!
1. Think carefully about the future
When you’re looking to buy your first home, the last thing you want to think about is moving out of it, right? But thinking about the future, specifically the resale value of your property, is crucial when buying a home. Think about the area you are looking to move into. Is it an area that is upcoming, or seeming a little past-it? Are people moving there to begin businesses, is there money being invested in the area? Does this house have great city transport links? Is it close to well-regarded schools? All of these questions are important to explore when buying a property.
If you find a home in an area which is developing more and more, with excellent schools and great transport access, it might be a great investment to move there. When your family has grown, or you simply feel the need to move on from this first house, the likelihood is that your house’s value will have increased by that time.
2. Research your internet provider
This might sound like an obvious one, but there’s more to internet providers than meets the eye. In the time of COVID-19 and in the future post-COVID world, more and more of us will be working from home. That means that your home might not just be your house, but your office, too. This means that when you’re picking your internet provider, and signing yourself into a contract, you’ve got to be rigorous in your comparisons. Satellite internet providers all over the world will tell you that their service is the best, but of course, this is just a sales technique. Doing your own detailed research will ensure you’re not signing your all-important internet access over to the wrong company!
3. Ignore the decor; focus on the space
When you view your prospective first home, you might be tempted to let the chosen decor of its previous owners distract you. This might stop you from seeing the potential in a home! Instead of looking at their lime green sofa and bizarre flowery wallpaper and immediately thinking, nope, take a look at the space itself. Are the rooms full of natural light? Is there space for everything you’d want in your home? How could you make it your own? Asking these sorts of questions to yourself allows you to get out of the funk of someone else’s style, and to open up your imagination to how this house could look with you living in it!
Remember, unlike renting a property, once you buy, you can do anything you like. You can strip off the gross wallpaper, you can pull up the old carpets, and you can build your own sanctuary. Seeing past other people’s stylistic choices and opening yourself up to your own, is the best attitude to adopt when you’re viewing your potential new pad.
4. Ask a million questions
Your real estate agent isn’t just there to show you around the property. They are responsible for selling the place to you! So ask questions. Ask about crime rates in the area, ask about resale value, ask about planning permission. It isn’t rude to do this, but actually shows them you are serious about buying your first home and that you’ve done some good research. Never forget that it might be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make; there’s nothing wrong with making absolutely sure that it’s the right decision. You’re not being annoying; you’re allowing the real estate agent to do their job as best they can. Be indignant!