| February 11, 2014
So you’re finally ready to become a first time homebuyer! You’ve been pre-approved for a loan and you know what you can afford. Now it’s time to figure out your dream home checklist, what’s a need, and what’s a want. A checklist should have things that are absolutely necessary for you to have in a home as well as some things that will make this home your dream home!
Property Type & Location:
A home means different things to different people, for some a dream home is a traditional single family home for others it’s a trendy condo in a metropolitan area. Check out Zillow’s Condo Breakdown and why a condo may be the right option for you. The condition of the home is also something to consider, do you want a newer constructed home or a home that is older. Your property type will definitely be determined by your location and vice versa, so you want to make an informed decision. Some major things to consider are the proximity of the property to loved ones, work, and preferences to local amenities. Look into public transportation, schools, shopping, entertainment, crime rate, and traffic flow. These things can make or break the decision to buy in a particular area. Check out HGTV’s guide on How to Choose a Neighborhood.
Construction & Home Amenities:
Must-haves within the home depend on your living situation. If you are living alone you may want to opt for smaller square footage, less bedrooms and a smaller living area. For a family you want to consider garage space, number of bathroom and bedrooms and outdoor backyard space. Central heating and air conditioning is something you also want to make sure you have depending on where you live. Even in beautiful California you still need to remember you may be in need of an air conditioner in the hot summers!
So you’ve figured out what you need now it’s time to make a list of what you want! Are hardwood floors and granite countertops a dream of yours? Do you want to convert an extra bedroom into a home office? Is having a pool in your backyard something you desire for your home? All these dream amenities are “extras” and you need to factor in the long-term cost of some of these amenities like monthly pool upkeep and cleaning.
Remember this is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, purchase you will ever make! Make sure you are both a realist and a dreamer. Get what you can afford but also remember to get the things you want. Please feel free to share this with friends and family looking to buy their first home!