First-time home buyers don’t always know what to look for in purchasing their new home. We’re here to help you through it!

Look at Every Expense:

A mortgage isn’t the only cost of running a home. You should also budget for taxes, insurance, utilities, and of course, any upgrades. For instance, your home may come with an exciting brand-new hot tub – which comes with maintenance expenses on its own.

To save yourself the hassle, call the utilities companies and ask for a monthly estimate. Then sit down and decide whether you can afford the insurance and taxes as well as the mortgage. Make a list of your household’s income sources and savings along with other cash flow considerations. Staying within a budget ensures a successful and practical home-buying experience.

Does the Home Fit Your 5-Year Plan (and Beyond)?

Single family house, townhouse, condo, apartment. Each option will have pros and cons relating to your special circumstance, but don’t make the mistake of trying to fit into a house that doesn’t fit into your life.

Expecting couples, retirees, and empty nesters are all examples of people who are going through a lifestyle change. The question is, can your new house accommodate your life? Is the home in close proximity to a school district or favorite recreational areas? Understanding the home in context with your lifestyle will help you see if it’s the right fit. If you see your situation changing in the next few years and the house doesn’t quite match your 5-year plan (and beyond), keep shopping around.

Wants Vs. Needs

Don’t get these confused. You will need a backyard for the kids and a minimum of three bedrooms, but you may want a fourth bedroom and a den. These can also be called value items, or items that bring more value to your living space. Of course, the more wants you add in, the more you have to spend on your mortgage. But if you’re really disappointed that your home doesn’t have what you want, think of it this way – Do It Yourself-ers can always add and change features on your own!