When buying your first home, it’s a good idea to consider some basics before making a commitment that will be costly. This way, costs won’t grow out of control and you’ll have a good plan going forward.
Here are four things to think about when looking to get your starter home.
Having Space to Grow
You don’t want to buy a home that’s so small that you won’t have any options to grow. Whether you’ll want to have a second bedroom converted into a home office or one for the kids, if you buy something too small, you’ll be forced to move soon after your purchase.
Avoid imposing your own limitations on the growth of your life with the choice of the size of the home. Above all, we need flexibility in life and buying too small only limits us. Think a little bigger to give yourself some wriggle room. This way, you’ll avoid the cost of selling the home and buying another one unnecessarily.
Get a Handle on Expected Monthly Expenses
The cost as a home owner is different to that of a renter. There are extra bills and different kinds of bills that often surprise the new buyer. Beyond the utilities and insurance premiums, those pesky maintenance expenses add up fast. Whether it’s the roof, the drains, the plumbing, or the electrical system, they all should be checked out before buying to make sure there aren’t any unhelpful surprises post-purchase.
Bear mind that electrical wiring, plumbing, and other internal systems don’t last forever. Depending on the age of the system, the quality of the materials used, and how they were fitted, the bill could be expensive if it turns out the whole system needs an overhaul.
It’s a good idea to set aside a certain amount per month to cover expected and unexpected maintenance expenses. You should also have an amount in savings when you move in, just in case the surveyor didn’t pick up on something that urgently needs replacing or fixing before you have time to save up to cover it.
Remodeling the Home Once Moved In
If you’re planning on refurbishing part of the home, be sure to correctly cost out a realistic amount for what that’ll cost. A budget must be drawn up to determine what every part of a remodeling project will cost and a substantial extra amount added at the bottom to cover unexpected items and overruns on expenses.
You may need to work on one room at a time over a period of years if your budget is already stretched to the limit. You don’t want to leave yourself strapped for cash by biting off more than you can chew on your first home with an extensive remodeling project.
Getting the Offer Letter Right
Creating a personized offer letter is a different approach to take than using a standardized, impersonal one. The advantage of letters to home sellers is that you can appeal to their heart and not just their pocket book. Sharing a love for their home is a good idea if they’ve made extensive changes that you appreciate. They want to know that their work is going to be appreciated.
Rushing into a first home is never a good plan. Take your time to cover all the important areas to make sure you are doing it right. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to determine that you’ve got everything organized properly and are not leaving anything out.