A while back, we wrote a blog that went over first time home buying in Washington State. While that blog went over a lot of the finance aspects of first time home buying, we wanted to cover the other side of things as well. Which is why this blog goes over everything but the finances.
One of the first things that comes to mind when someone is looking to purchase their first home is the price tag. Yes, this is a very large aspect of purchasing a home, but we’re here to inform you about a few other VERY important aspects to keep in mind when looking for your first home. The following goes over your means, needs, and wants, and after reading this we know you will realize just how important each of these considerations are.
While this blog post is attempting to steer clear of any financial discussion as it relates to your first home purchase, when discussing your means (or capabilities) for buying a home, money is a subject that cannot be avoided. Without going into extraneous detail, a general, followable rule, when it comes to the financial aspects of purchasing a home is to exercise your financial dealings within your means. Whether you wish to buy a home outright, finance it through a mortgage, or acquire a loan, you must be aware of your capabilities, in both the present and future. Do not buy a home you cannot afford, take on a mortgage you cannot keep up with, or get a loan that you will not be able to pay back. If the economic downturn in 2008 taught us anything, when homeowners take on too much risk, they lose.
There are, however, other necessary capabilities aside from just financial that, as a homeowner, you need to be aware of; one of them being the necessary means of an occupant. Are you able to sufficiently occupy this home? Will you need more room in the future? Is there enough room now? Knowing your needs is one thing, but knowing how to fulfill future needs is something else. If you are planning on starting a family, then you’ll need room to grow and you ought to take this into account. If your familial situation is a bit smaller, then you still want to provide yourself and your own with a large enough space in which to live, without picking a place that’s so large it feels empty. Other means to consider are those of maintenance. Often times, a new homeowner will ambitiously purchase a home that is too large to maintain on his or her own. As a result, the aesthetic features of the home tend to suffer; paint begins to chip, lawn begins to brown, etc. You want a home that you can easily maintain within your own means.
Although this subject was touched upon in the previous section, being aware of ones needs as a new homeowner is half the battle when it comes to choosing a home. Of course, internal layout and spatial requirements (the square-footage, amount of rooms, etc.) are a priority. Yet, there are other needs that are often overlooked, such as location. The need for an appropriate location is doubly important because you ought to have your home situated in a suitable place, while also being able to travel to and from your home with minimum difficulty. How far is your home from your work? Do you drive or use public transit to get there? Where is your child’s school? How will they get to and from school each day? Are there other children in the neighborhood they can play with? Questions like these are important to consider when determining a location for your first home.
The purchasing of a first home is an extremely exciting time in one’s life. Of course, you’d like everything to be perfect. You’d love to purchase a newly designed and built three-story home, in the heart of the city’s best neighborhood, that contains state-of-the-art kitchen appliances that glisten like the ones in commercials. Of course, everybody wants that. But most of us do not need such a living situation, especially in our first home. It is important to note that when purchasing anything, from a candy bar, to a car, to a house, your wants should be addressed. That is part of making a purchase after all, choosing what you want. The important part is to not confuse one’s needs with one’s wants. If you ever find yourself saying something like, “We absolutely need a three car garage,” when you only have one car, then the boundary in your mind that separates your desires and your necessities out to be reassessed. See where we are going with this?
Just remember that your first home is not your last home, and that when one is starting out in life, one’s needs come before one’s wants. If you have any questions regarding first time home buying do not hesitate to give your local mortgage and home loan specialists a call.