5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Bought my First Home
Buying a home for the first time is one of the most nerve-wracking things a lot of people will do in their life. After all, how often do most people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single purchase? For a vast majority, it is only one or twice.
Most home purchases come with an inspection before the purchase.
The inspection typically only serves to scare people more. The inspector's job is to find every problem, and potential problem that could arise in the new home. They do a good job, oftentimes scaring new homeowners with their warnings.
Here are seven things I wish I knew when I purchased my first home.
Focus on important things
Too often me and my husband would get caught up in small things that we could probably repair or replace for less than $500. We would disregard larger potential problems such as water heaters or heating units while worrying about paint colors we disagreed with. Remember, once the home is purchased you can do whatever you want with it. Make sure the guts of the home and the expensive things will last, then you can fix the rest
Tying into my first point, I really wish we had a home warranty on our first home. We had an A/C unit go out in our first year that cost upwards of $3,000 to replace. The sad part was that we had been warned in the inspection that the unit was old, but had chosen not to act. Most home warranty companies will replace an A/C unit and they charge less than $40 a month typically.
Realtors are great, but not essential
After buying our first home we have not used a realtor since. There are a lot of for sale by owner sites that offer realtor services at vast discounts. We often had difficulties getting a home because we asked the seller to pay for the realtor fees and they were unwilling to do so.
It is so easy to start to think you won't find the home you are looking for and just settle for something else. If you need a home in a certain time frame this may be a good idea, but for most people they have time to look around and make sure that they are getting as close to their dream home as possible. There are dozens of homes that come onto the market every day, just because one hasn't matched your preferences in the last few weeks does not mean that one will not come on eventually. You can look at past home sales as well to get a good idea of what you might be able to get with your price range in mind.
You can fix it
When we first purchased the home we found that we had a leaky pipe. We called a plumber and paid $250 to get the pipe fixed. After watching what they did we quickly realized that it wasn't as hard as we had made ourself believe. We now use YouTube and always watch a video of the specific repair before we call anyone to do it. We are often pleasantly surprised that doing it ourself takes only a few minutes and can often saves hundreds of dollars.
We have loved buying each home we have lived in. It is an exciting thing and shouldn't be looked on as stressful. Do your homework, make a plan, and live the American dream to its fullest!