Buying Your First Home? We’ll Let You In On Some Secrets…
If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, congratulations! It’s one of the most exciting times of your life, and you can’t wait to make the most of it. You’ve been doing your homework, researching the neighborhoods you might like, putting together a budget and watching your credit rating. You’re planning which color schemes you’ll work with and what amenities are on your must-have list. You know you’ll need to sign a lot of paperwork, wear yourself out with all the packing and unpacking, and learn your way around a new community. However, there’s some challenges and surprises in store for you that you may not see coming, so the team at Ernest Homes is sharing some of the lesser known aspects of buying a home you may not expect.
You Might Change Your Mind
While you’ll make a list of must-have items when you’re imagining your dream home, the reality of shopping may push you in another direction. For example, if you’re looking for a house with a great view, a big yard and multiple fireplaces within your budget on a certain street, you may have to adjust your list a bit. After seeing a few houses that check off most of your boxes, you can determine which must haves don’t matter after all.
You may also think you’re dead-set on an attribute or feature, only to find that it doesn’t appeal to you as much in real life. The wall-to-wall carpet may give way to laminate or tile floors, or your extra-large shower with multiple streams may be jettisoned for a whirlpool tub with simple separate shower. Give yourself permission to adjust your expectations and explore new opportunities.
Everyone Expects You to Ask Questions
You may hold back some of your questions when you’re in the home buying process, thinking that others may find them ridiculous. It should be a relief to know that everyone you’ll be dealing with doesn’t expect you to be an expert, and is going to go the extra mile to make sure you’re confident in your choices.
Talk About Taxes
Once you’re a homeowner, your tax filing will change dramatically. Don’t be surprised by the new numbers – talk to a tax preparer or a tax lawyer when you’re in the final stages of your decision-making process. He or she can give you an idea of how your deductions, itemizations and mortgage will affect your relationship with the IRS.
Commitment is Key
Most satisfied homeowners buy with an eye to the long term. When you’re considering a home, you need to think about where you’ll be five, ten or even twenty years from now. Are you planning to have children (or more children), take care of aging parents or are looking forward to an empty nest? If you aren’t sure of your eventual goals, look for a home with some flexibility that will respond to your needs. You also need to assess your personal commitments. Remember that buying a house is a contract. If you’re buying a home with a spouse, the laws on how community property will be divided in a divorce are different from the rules that will apply if you aren’t legally married. Make sure everyone involved in the purchase knows exactly where they stand before they sign on the dotted line.
Minimal Might Be a Must
Most people buying their first home are surprised at how little furniture they actually have. If you’ve been renting an apartment, sharing a house with roommates or living with family, there’s a good chance that your new place may look and feel shockingly empty once you’ve moved in. You may also have pieces that don’t fit through different doorways or in certain rooms, or the style of your existing furniture may not mesh with the aesthetic of your new home. Unless you’ve put aside a significant amount to cover the cost of outfitting your new place, it will take some time to complete your ideal look.
Unless You’re a Contractor, Prepare for Repairs
If you’re the fix-it fanatic, you’ll be able to handle just about any monkey wrench your home throws at you. If - like the rest of us - you aren’t, be ready with a list of trustworthy handy folk. You can ask family and friends for recommendations, or use a service like Home Advisor or Angie’s List to find an army of professionals.
Your Home Won’t Feel Like Home at First
Your first few days, weeks or even months will feel strange – and this is normal. There are bound to be differences between where you’ve been living and your new home, and it will take a while to get used to them. The kitchen counters may be a different height, the sunshine may come into your bedroom differently in the morning, the toilets may be lower and plumbing fixtures may operate differently. Give yourself some time to settle in.
You’ll Be in Demand
When you’re shopping for your home, you’ll be flattered, wooed and pursued by any number of sellers, realtors and mortgage lenders. Remember that honesty is the best policy, and transparency is important. If you’ve gotten complete, clear and straightforward answers from the people you’ve been working with, you can feel confident in your choices. Read reviews, verify the information you’ve been given and trust your instincts. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. An honorable seller will always be up front with you and work with you to find the perfect home for your family.