What First-time Home Buyers Should Look for in a Home

Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting task. Not only financially, but also physically and emotionally – it’s a big commitment to buy a home that you plan on staying in for the next several years of your life. What are some important things to consider before jumping feet first into buying a home? It’s important to leave emotions behind and think practically about a potential home.

First things first, can you afford this home?

More often than not, first-time homebuyers will get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting their hunt for a home. While this is a good idea, just because you are approved for a $500,000 house doesn’t mean you should buy one. Unfortunately, just because you’ve been approved for this amount doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the sky-high mortgage payments that go along with it. Be sure to find a home that suits you, you can afford, and that won’t potentially be too heavy of a financial burden.

Does the home fit your lifestyle?

Do you like being near family? Do you enjoy visiting friends often? Is a short commute to work important to you? All of these are things to consider when buying a home. It’s not just what’s inside the home that matters – the location is also a huge factor to consider when buying your first home. Instead of looking for the ideal home based on what’s inside or what amenities it has, first pick a location that suits you and your lifestyle. Like going out with friends? Maybe a home closer to downtown is more suited to you. Enjoy quality family time? Maybe buying a home close to your place of work is a good idea for you! Make sure to find a location that fits all of your needs before searching for your dream home.

What does the future look like for you?

Most first-time homebuyers are advised to live in a home for 5-7 years at least before selling and moving on. This ensures that you come out on top of the sale of your home. Be sure to consider all of the possibilities for the next 5-10 years – will you want to start having a family? If so, you should be looking for a home that will fit you and your growing family in the coming years. Instead of buying that 2 bed / 1.5 bath, maybe consider buying a 3 bed / 2 bath. Perhaps instead of buying Downtown, near all of the nightlife and exciting city life, you should look for a home in a quieter, kid-friendly neighborhood. Make it a point to map out your life for the next 10 years and take that into consideration before purchasing your first home.

Has the home been maintained?

Just because Chip and Joanna Gaines make flipping a house really easy doesn’t mean that it is! Unless that’s your life’s passion, it’s important to buy a home that doesn’t have too many projects that need to be done. This is why a home inspection is a great idea to do before making an offer on a home. Sometimes there are problems with a home that are not noticeable to the untrained eye. The last thing you want is to buy your first home in Texas in the heat of the summer and then the AC goes out within the first week. Not fun and definitely not cheap. Bottom line, look for a home that doesn’t have too many problems or fixer-upper projects.

What’s your exit strategy?

Most starter homes aren’t meant to be forever homes. You’ll want to make sure you’re buying in an area or neighborhood where your home will either keep its value or increase in value by the time you’re ready to sell. Look for homes in a good school district, near desirable amenities, or a home you think would be easily rented out in the future.

Once you’ve found a home that you love, in an area you love, you’re ready to make an offer!

Not all Communities are made equally

If you’re a first-time home-buyer in the Houston/Spring, TX area, Harper Woods is a great community to begin the search for your first home! Located right off of Grand Parkway in the heart of Springwoods Village, this community has affordable homes and is in close proximity to numerous job opportunities, great amenities, and is only a short drive to Downtown Houston. Learn more by visiting our community page at www.sbbtexas.com/harper-woods/.