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Six Tips for Buying Your First Home: Needs vs. Wants

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in life. Home buyers must take the decision seriously and make wise decisions every step of the way. The most important thing is that a first home does not have to be the home of your dreams.

1. Assess your true needs

True needs must come before desires. Important things to keep in mind include:

  • Neighborhood safety
  • Appropriate number of rooms for family size
  • Structural integrity of the house
  • Proximity to work and school and a good school district
  • Taxes
  • The price of the house and the monthly mortgage
  • Homeowners should keep an open mind and be willing to compromise on factors that are not immediately pressing. Create a must-have list and a wish list. Your “must have” list should include the essential things a home must have to be considered. The ‘wish list’ will include all the features of the house that you consider nice to have but are things you could live without.

For example, depending on the size of your family, you may actually need 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. On the other hand, a garage and fenced yard are also great features, but may not be absolutely necessary. And depending on the circumstances, these are things that can be added later. Choosing a home without these features and other things on your ‘wish list’ can open up opportunities to save money, lots of money.

2. Determine your budget

First, if you are thinking of buying, visit your preferred bank and see if you are eligible for credit and how much they can finance you before starting the search for your home. Determining how much the bank can finance you will make it easier for you to find the perfect property that fits your budget.
Having a proper budget and then some can help you avoid a seriously difficult situation. Take the time to analyze your finances and always have some savings in an emergency fund before purchasing your first home.

All of these considerations will help first-time homebuyers set realistic expectations for finding a home within the right price range.

3. Find the right lender

Take the time to select several loan companies to find the best rates, but buyers should also talk to their own local banks and credit unions to compare options.

4. Find a good professional Real Estate Agent

Once the finances are in order, take the time to find a good realtor. The right one will know your list of priorities in order of importance, make recommendations, give market advice, and more.

5. Get a trustworthy home inspector

Getting a thorough and reliable home inspection is a crucial step. The home inspector will look for mold, electrical, pumping, and appliance problems, structural or foundation problems, termites, and other problems that require urgent attention.

6. Personalize your new home

You may feel like the house is a compromise, but once you move in, it’s all yours. Add creative personal touches to make it everything you want. Make your space yours and welcome to your new home.

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