Purchasing a home for the first time is always a challenge. Out of all the home buyers last year, only 62 percent reported being very satisfied with the process of buying a home. And when you’re on the market for not just any home, but a family home, that complicates matters even further.
When you’re buying a home for a family, you’re factoring in not just your current needs and wants, but also how your family will grow and evolve in the years to come.
Is Your Budget Realistic?
Your house is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your entire life. And while owning a home is a dream for many, ending up with the wrong home can quickly turn into a nightmare. You don’t want to become “house rich but cash poor.” This is why first-time buyers should make sure that they’re purchasing a house they can actually afford. Instead of simply looking at how much you’re currently spending, you also need to consider how your monthly expenses will grow as your kids grow older.
An easy way to calculate how much your budget should be is the 30 percent rule. This basically means that your mortgage — as well as other debts — shouldn’t be more than 30 percent of your income every month. Picking the right mortgage lender is also critical, as this loan will affect you for many years to come. While you’re in the process of financing your new home, you’ll want to find a mortgage lender who offers not just good rates, but great customer service.
Read and compare reviews for the top-rated mortgage lenders, or ask your real estate agent for advice on choosing a good mortgage lender.
How’s The Location?
You and your partner might’ve been able to tolerate a long commute and terrible neighborhood back when you had no kids to think about, but now that you’ve got a family in the mix, your home’s location is more critical than ever.
Choosing a good location obviously means making sure that your home-to-be’s location has everything your family will need in the coming years in close proximity. This entails schools, drug stores, playgrounds, groceries, kid-friendly establishments, etc.
But when choosing a home, also consider how noisy the area is, especially if you have young children who nap during the day. Will you have your own washer/dryer unit, or send it out? While you may have been able to take laundry trips before kids, having an easily accessible laundry unit is crucial with a growing family.
Can Your Home Evolve With You?
Your home may be perfect for your current needs, but these will change as your family grows and evolves. In other words, you’ll need some flexibility. Will you be able to easily alter your home’s layout as your family changes?
This means being able to change the function of spaces according to your family’s needs. For example, you may want to convert an office into a nursery, or a den into a bedroom.
Even if you plan on staying in your home for good, you don’t know what the future holds. Your home is an investment, which is why you should also think about your home’s resale value. As much as possible, look for a home that will appreciate in value over time.
When looking for your first family home, take your time and don’t settle for the first property you fall in love with. It’s important that you shop around to get a better understanding of what you like and what you don’t like. Ask plenty of questions to and if possible, do a home inspection before you sign anything.
To make the perfect choice, leave no stone unturned!