Planning to buy your first home can be a daunting task. It's hard to know the important things to look for, especially in today's often tight market. To help you make the best decision you can, here's a handy guide to 5 aspects to look for in a "starter home."
It's In Your Budget. Many people give advice to stretch yourself a little to buy your home -- usually based on the theory that you will earn more in future years and be able to adjust to the costs easier all the time. But wages have been fairly stagnant for the past few years and many homeowners can't count on wage growth like before. So make sure you can comfortably cover not only the house payment but also taxes, insurance, utilities, HOA dues and regular maintenance expenses.
It Has a Little Extra Room. So-called starter homes tend to be smaller than average, have fewer amenities and be in slightly less desirable neighborhoods. But it's still a good idea to think about your future needs over the next decade or so. In the past, homeowners were in starter homes for a short time, but they're often finding that that first home must fit their lifestyle for longer than planned. So think ahead a little if you plan to have a baby, work from home or entertain a lot in this home.
It's in a Stable Location. While you may not be able to buy into a great neighborhood, at least look for indications that yours will be a stable and well-maintained one. Avoid areas with too many "for sale" or "for rent" signs or houses that have been on the market for a long time. Check with nearby HOAs and your real estate agent about delinquency and vacancy rates. Buying in a decent area with potential for growth will help you sell the home later.
It's Had Good Maintenance. Even if the home is a little dated, it's more important that it has been maintained well. Signs of lapsed maintenance can include things like damaged gutters or roof, rotting trim or old filters in the air conditioning system. Have a home properly inspected and don't ignore other signals that the house's structure isn't in good shape.
It's Had a Few Upgrades. Most owners don't put a lot of money into a starter home, but there should be signs that a little money has been spent to keep it up. Upgrades -- even small ones -- in the kitchen and bathrooms, such as new windows, a new roof, or an energy efficient water heater are all things that show that previous homeowners have been diligent in caring for the home. These upgrades also signify costs you will not have to incur in the next few years.
By looking for a first home that meets that basic criteria, you can help ensure a home you will enjoy and one that won't sink you financially. Contact a realtor for more information.Share
16 May 2016
Do you absolutely adore your home, but are planning an upcoming move due to a career change? If you’re moving in the near future, you might desperately desire to sell your current home as soon as possible. To help you accomplish this important task, consider hiring an experienced, real estate agent in your community. This individual can help you select the perfect selling price for your house. Your real estate agent can also provide valuable information about staging your home to perfection. For instance, to make your home more inviting, your real estate agent might suggest you purchase new bedding, window treatments, and artwork. On this blog, I hope you will discover how a real estate agent can help you sell your home fast. Enjoy!