Buying a home for the first time can be a little bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, with the right plan, building a new construction home and moving up from the rental lifestyle can be a deeply gratifying and pretty exciting adventure.
We’ve taken the time to share some solid steps you can take to make sure your first-time homebuying experience Lives Up like you’ve been here before. So read on, and good luck!
Find Your Sweet Spot
Beginning a home search without honing in on your ideal location can take a toll on your patience and your gas tank. Instead of driving all around town, take a moment to identify the factors that would make up your prime location. For example, do you (or will you) have school-aged children? This leads to other questions; for example, how are the schools? Are there playgrounds and other kid-friendly spots close by? Then there is the privacy vs. convenience conundrum. Do you want to be secluded from the hustle and bustle by big trees and a couple of miles — or do you want to be right in the middle of it all? (Pro tip: Play your cards right, and you can have both.) Also, think about how your daily routine measures up to any locations you’re scouting. Are you a hop, skip, and a jump from your office, healthcare providers, and dining or retail hot spots you can’t be without? Finally, how is the area trending? In other words, is the neighborhood going to demand strong resale values in 5, 10, or 20 years from now? We know we gave you a lot of questions to think about, but by answering them up front, you’ll set yourself up with a winning homebuying game plan.
Find Your Interior Rhythm
Floor plans set the beat of your everyday life. When they match or even enhance your habits and routine, life is good. When they work against you, it can be frustrating. Here it’s important to picture what that ideal day looks like. Do you desire the flexibility of having an extra room for a home office or guest bedroom? Do you really need to open things up to avoid that claustrophobic feeling? Will you eat in the kitchen or do you want a dedicated dining room? Peeking at blueprints can help you get a feel for what will work, but walking through a home with the specific floor plan you’re considering (or having a Sales Rep walk you through a similar home) is an even better idea.
Understand Your Bottom Line
Odds are that you’ve selected an area and a floor plan, that at arm’s length, both appear to be in the ballpark of your budget. Smart work! But now it’s time to get into the weeds of your new home construction pricing. Specifically, it’s time to see what’s included and what’s extra. And if any of your must-haves aren’t meeting your budget, now is the time to determine your next move. By working the numbers now, you’ll avoid setting yourself up for disappointment later.
Know the House Rules
Are you 100% getting a nice privacy fence to keep your prize-winning Miniature Australian Shepherds from making an escape? Are you a holiday lights person — you know, the more the merrier? Well before you hire that contractor or start untangling thousands of twinkling bulbs, be sure to review your HOA’s covenants, bylaws, and even budget. You want to make sure you can follow all the rules with your plans for today and tomorrow.
That’s all there is to it! We kid a little bit. Yes, even by following the rights steps, buying a home for the first time can still come with some minor frustrations and surprises. But by being prepared and having a plan, you can ensure these are no more than minor speed bumps on the road to Living Up!