If you are a first time home buyer, buying a home is not only a major step in your life, it’s also one of the most important decisions you will make. Buying a new home is a big investment that’s just as intimidating as it is exciting! Even though “everybody has one”, buying your first home signifies a new start, a step closer towards your personal independence, and a major accomplishment in life.
I remember when I bought my first home. Not knowing anything about buying homes I did as much research online as I could. I read many blogs, I read magazine articles, and spent hours and days looking through MLS listings, comparing prices, location, crime rates, school zones, tax rates, and so on.
There really is no dummies manual on buying a home for your first time and many people will tell you it’s a lot about your preferences. Well, kind of, because if it was up to my preferences I would have bought a castle on a cliff! One with a view of the ocean that overlooked crashing waves, one where I could watch the sunset as I dined, and a breathtaking sunrise as I sipped my morning coffee from my balcony… so while ultimately your preferences play a role in the home buying process, there are many other factors that will determine which house you will end up buying.
After contacting several realtors, I ended up working with a realtor named Riccardo who is a close friend of mine and we spent months looking at homes. I asked so many questions that I think I made his head spin sometimes. But he was always patient and answered all my questions with a smile as he worked pretty hard to find listings that fit what I was looking for – which by the way is how I judge a realtor’s capabilities; can they understand what I’m looking for and work to find homes that fit what I want or close to it, or do they show me whatever is on the market that they think is a good deal and try to tell me why I would like it. Not to sound snobby but after all it’s me who’s investing hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home so I prefer to find what I am looking for or get as close to it as possible, even if it takes some extra work and time. And don’t get me wrong, when I was buying my first home I worked at it just as much as my realtor did.
Finally, on a Monday night, after a few months of looking at homes almost every weekend, Riccardo called me extremely excited! A house had just been listed, in the exact location I wanted, it was bigger than a lot of the houses we had seen before, it had most of the specifications I wanted, and best of all it was below my budget! We frantically made an appointment to see it and after a short walk through of the house, speaking to the owner and asking my many questions, I was under contract that same night!
The house turned out to be amazing and while I’ve since bought two more houses, I still own that first house because I like the location so much.
But no matter how many blogs I read, no matter how many houses I had seen, and how many questions I asked, when I first moved into my new house I still found things that popped up every now and then that I had not taken into consideration. Small things, but it just kind of showed me that there’s really never enough you can know about buying a house be it your first or your 100th.
In the next article, I’m going to cover in detail 14 questions you should ask when buying a new home, be it your first or your last: