When dreaming of a first home the options are endless. From a backyard oasis with a patio and swimming pool, to a gourmet kitchen with the most up-to-date appliances, plenty of space to entertain friends or a gorgeous master bedroom suite, no first time home buyers wish list is the same. However, in reality, it is not always possible to find a first home with everything you want, so i is helpful for buyers to decide in advance what items are “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” on a first home wish list.
The following five tips will help determine what you will need versus what is nice to have in your first home.
1. Know your budget: Find a lender you trust and if you’re unsure about who to go to, I can refer several options. Once you know what budget you are working with, I can show you options in your price range.
2. Find that perfect “location, location, location”: Everyone has heard this phrase before when it comes to real estate, and while the surrounding neighbourhood and home itself may improve over time, the physical location will remain the same. Buyers should determine in advance how close they would like to live to their work, schools or extended family. A short commute to work, proximity to family or having easy access to highways and mass transit are often “must-haves.” The location will also determine some home amenities that are possible or difficult to have within the buyer’s budget. For example, if a buyer has to live close to work in a big city, they may have to cross a garage or outdoor space from their wish list.
3. Determine non-negotiable accommodations: A comfortable place for everyone in the family is always a “must have.” Some first time buyers are very uncertain about what options are available to them, so I like to help buyers work on their wish list. For those who already have a wish list, it’s important to rank the top priorities and non-negotiable features . For some buyers, a walk-in closet or an ensuite bath make up an non-negotiable master suite retreat.
4. Pick a lifestyle fit: After fulfilling the most important needs, buyers should find out what features of a home will best fit their lifestyle. For example, buyers who love to cook and entertain may want a home with a gourmet kitchen and decide to give up the large master bedroom. Or, buyers who love to spend time outdoors may compromise a large family room for a big backyard and a pool. Those who travel often may prefer a condo lifestyle with no outdoor maintenance.
5. Have a vision: When looking at a first home, buyers should avoid getting distracted by decorations, paint or flooring that may not fit their taste. Items such as paint color or carpeting are easy to fix and always worth compromising on. If everything else about a home fits the wish list, a new coat of paint and a little redecorating are easy finishing touches on a dream home.
Helping people make their wish lists into a reality in home ownership, that’s my definition of Realtor.