Advice for first-time home buyers

Owning a home is a dream many of us share. Whether it’s the chance to customize your property that appeals to you, or the opportunities for profit that it could bring further down the line, there’s so much on offer.

But it’s not always a simple dream, and it can sometimes seem like the whole process is beset with issues you need to resolve. From finding a place with a good local school to sorting out insurance policies, there’s a lot to think about.

Luckily, help is at hand. In this article, we’ll take a look at what processes you need to go through in order to make your home ownership dream a reality.

Location, location, location

When it comes to settling somewhere, perhaps the most important decision you’ll need to make is where you’d like to live.

For some people, the choices on offer will include moving across county or state lines, while for others it may be more likely that they’ll be moving from one street to another nearby. But no matter how far you may be moving, making an informed decision before committing is a good idea. Visiting your new area first is a must-do, and spending a lot of time there is ideal.

If you have kids, choosing an area is even more important when school choices are taken into account. You should speak to the local school board to find out how enrolment will work, and whether or not you’ll have flexibility over which school your child will attend.

Thinking about design

If location is one-half of the major home ownership decision-making process, then the other is certainly choosing a place that fits your style, appearance and design needs.

Some people prefer to live in places with modern decor, for example, while for others the old-fashioned look is well and truly in.

It’s a good idea to make a list of design features you really want in your new place, so that you’re not left feeling indecisive when you look around possible places.

Your budget will come into play here, though. Sometimes your dream household features come at a price tag that’s simply too high for many first-time buyers to even consider paying – and for that reason, you’ll need to be prepared to compromise.

If you really want to put your own stamp on a place without shelling out too much, it may be a good idea to go for somewhere that currently has neutral decor. That way, you can fill it with furniture you already have, or add do-it-yourself feature walls without too much trouble.

Investing in home warranty protection

Nobody likes to think about potential problems or disasters involving their property, but it’s wise to be prepared.

That’s where home warranty protection comes in. By paying a little in insurance fees, you can rest assured that if something goes wrong with an appliance – or a problem arises with one aspect or another of your home – you’ll be covered.

Although it varies by plan, all sorts of items in your home can be covered under home warranty coverage, including the oven, the ductwork, the garbage disposal system and many more.

Set aside some extra cash

If you’ve been renting or living with parents or friends before making the big decision to buy and move into your own place, you may not have noticed just how many hidden costs there can be.

In addition to sorting out your mortgage and paying interest, you’ll often have to pay some one-off fees at the very start of the process. If there are lawyers involved in the finalization process for your home purchase, for example, their services will come at a price. And, if after a few months, you realize you really need a certain appliance or feature, it’ll now be your responsibility to pay for it to be installed.

For these reasons, you should always set aside some extra cash in addition to the money you’ll be spending on actually paying for the property. That way, you’re never going to end up with a nasty surprise!

Ultimately, it’s clear that there’s plenty to think about when it comes to sorting out the purchase of your first home. Whether it’s picking a good location for amenities, such as schools, or looking for a comprehensive home warranty policy to protect your belongings, there’s a lot to do. With a bit of forward planning and organization, there’s no reason why you can’t navigate these task lists and enjoy the benefits of owning your own place.

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