Your No Nonsense Guide to Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be well… an experience. There’s a reason approximately 40% of home buyers find a realtor by asking family and friends, and there’s a reason that couple you know may have grumbled a bit when closing on their first home. Thankfully, it can be a great experience–one well-worth remembering!–if you know what to look for when you’re on the market for your first house.

Stay sane, stay positive, and stay informed! Here’s what you need to know for your walk-through:

  • Under-Sink Cabinets Are Telling!
  • Looking under the skin in the kitchen and bathrooms is pretty much going to tell you everything you need to know–about the plumbing, that is! Real estate agents and property managers alike recommend peaking into these cupboards to look for signs of water damage. Warped bottoms and sides, peeling paint, or a musty, moldy smell are all indications that something is awry.

  • Scope Out Electrical Outlets
  • This is another practical feature first-time home buyers tend to ignore. Crestview property management advises considering the number, placement, and condition of outlets in your new home. Are there enough outlets by the nightstand and where you intend to put the TV? Plug something in (bringing along a cellphone charger is a sneaky way to do this!), and make sure the outlets are up to snuff. Old houses may have loose outlets.

    From there, carefully weigh the pros and cons. Installing new outlets and wiring can be challenging. On the other hand, fixing loose outlets or fixtures can be relatively simple and inexpensive.

  • Be Realistic About Storage Space
  • It may seem like a small sacrifice to skimp on storage space for the otherwise perfect home. However, a lack of storage space isn’t something that can be easily amended by renovations, at least not without tearing down walls. Be honest about how much closet space you need, and keep in mind whether your new home has an attic, basement, walk-in closet, etc. for additional storage space.

  • Carefully Choose Your New Neighborhood
  • The house itself is important–of course–but so are the homes, businesses, and land surrounding it. Do you have young children? Will you be walking or running every day? Look up “walkability” and crime ratings online before looking at houses to get a feel for exactly where you’re moving.

  • Get Cold Easily? Don’t Forget to Investigate Heating and Cooling Systems
  • According to esurance.com, it’s best to “Check the attic, water pipes, and heating ducts to make sure they’re properly insulated” prior to buying your first home. Heating and cooling systems can be expensive to replace. According to Crestview Property Management, it’s wise to check around windows for insulation and related heating and cooling costs as well. Drafts can significantly contribute to these bills. Look into insulation prior to buying your home to save money in the long-run.

Are you buying your first home? Follow the tips above compiled from Century 21, Esurance, and Crestview Property Management to make wise, financial decisions when purchasing your first home.

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