A Practical Guide For First Time Homebuyers

Real Estate Agent with Gentry Real Estate Group

One morning you awaken and realize that, yes, buying a home is the right thing to do for you and your family. You're definitely tired of throwing away money on rent but you have reservations. Nevertheless, if it's your first time, you've got questions. You may be a little nervous that you'll mess up, but of course, it's normal to feel that way. You are possibly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars while making the vital financial purchase of your life. You will find that being a knowledgeable individual in the home buying process is empowering for you.

For starters, take a practical look on these factors you need to consider before buying a home.

Price: Can You Afford It?

Price is one of the most common factors that people tend to push to the limits. They look at how much more home or how much nicer of a home they can have if they spend a little more money. Before you stretch and stray from your original plans in this area make sure that you can really live with higher payments and a bigger loan. Be realistic! Don’t get bullied by the agent to buy house beyond your price range, stick with your initial goal.

Location: Is It Close or Within The City?

Location is very important. If you decide you want a home in the city, be wary of looking at homes out of the city that will increase your commute time, run up more vehicle expenses, and create annoyances such as not being able to order take out or not being able to make quick stops at home during the workday. If you don't like to live in the city then by all means don't place yourself in a city lot or apartment where you are going to feel crowded or annoyed by common city occurrences.

Size: Decide First Hand To Go Bigger or Smaller!

You might have only wanted a 1500 sq ft house but your Realtor takes you to a 3000 sq. ft. house and tells you that it's a good deal since its only $50 a sq. ft. Soon you become hinged on the fact that this house is really a great deal and you may someday be able to make more off of selling it. But wait, if you wanted a house with 1500 sq ft, are you going to be happy in a house that is 1500 sq ft bigger? If you purchase a larger house, make sure you can live with higher utilities, taxes, and even expenses such as furniture to "fill" the home. Bear in mind too if you’re buying a smaller house than you originally wanted, your family won’t outgrow it sooner than you realized.

Repairs: General Maintenance Must Be Within Your Budget

Most first time homebuyers used to renting overlook general maintenance work that must be done to keep homes. Homes in good repair still require regular heating and cooling, roof, and yard maintenance, among other things. Keep this in mind when you set guidelines regarding what kind of repairs you are prepared to deal with yourself. If you are on a stiff budget, it's a good idea to stay away from homes that will potentially cost you more in repairs than you can manage to pay for. If a house is a great deal but you have no extra cash to finish or fix it up, it may turn into a terrible home buying experience. Bear in mind, once you buy a home, you get everything that comes with it, including repairs.

Practicality: Consider Sensible Home Features Needed

If you overlook how practical a house is for your family you may end up with regular frustrations or problems on a daily basis. For example, if you have young children and decide that you want a single level house, don't stray from your plans and buy a house with an elaborate staircase that can't be blocked off and is a safety hazard. If you don't like to swim or if you have young children, is the pool in the backyard really a bonus? Don't let Realtors or sellers convince you that these "extras" are really what you need. If they can be marked extras and weren't in your first plan, that's all they really are, extra things to deal with.

You may wander off from your original plan and expectations with the purchase of your home, which is fine as long as you keep a realistic viewpoint on the home purchase. You may realize the square footage you planned to buy would be way too small for your family or that the repairs you thought to be too tedious are really more common than anything. It's plainly important to buy a home that compliments your financial condition and personal lifestyle rather than one that simply complicates them.


Comments (4)

Jon Elshaug
Sinacore & Associates - Fallbrook, CA
Independent REALTOR 760.390.8396 - USMC (Ret)

What caught my eye about your blog was the gross living area differance.  Mc massions look so great for a buyer but in my experience with trying move this gls in a downsizing market is a royal)(*)_(&6.


Oct 01, 2010 04:17 PM
Kay Horacefield
UTR-Texas Realtors - Clear Lake City, TX
Houston-Clear Lake City-League City, TX

You have given some great tips for First Time Buyers.  Many of the tips apply to other buyer groups as well. 

Kay Horacefield

Oct 01, 2010 04:35 PM
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Driven to bring New Yorkers home

Good Morning Richard

Thanks for the post and first-time homebuyer tips. Have a great day.

Oct 01, 2010 09:04 PM
Richard Gentry
Gentry Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA

JON ELSHAUG: It would be totally irresponsible for us to encourage homebuyers to buy homes they cannot afford to maintain. So, yes, we need to give them sound advice and realistic options.


KAY HORACEFIELD: Thank you Kay for visiting my blog and finding the tips valuable. You are welcome to re-blog and share this too!


PATRICK WHITE: Thanks for reading my post Patrick! It is my pleasure sharing thess tips to help homebuyers be realistic  in their home buying quests. Cheers!

Oct 02, 2010 03:38 AM

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