TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS
Buying your first home can be incredibly exciting! When I work with first-time buyers I counsel them on a variety of things that are important with every home purchase, but particularly crucial for a buyer’s first purchase.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – The most commonly used real estate phrase is true! Location is incredibly important and will determine value. Different neighborhoods have positives and negatives. A home’s proximity to an airport or golf course or mushroom farm can be a factor. Is the home on a busy street? I always advise my buyer clients to drive the neighborhood of the home they’re interested in on a Friday night. It’s also advisable to buy the home in a neighborhood that is at or below the value of surrounding homes. You don’t want to buy the most expensive home on the street and have the character of the neighborhood bring down your value.
SYSTEMS OF THE HOME – When touring a home be aware of the home’s systems – the roof, siding, HVAC, electrical, windows, plumbing, etc. These tend to be “big ticket” items that could be spendy to repair or replace. Paint and carpet are relatively inexpensive. A new roof or furnace, on the other hand, can be quite spendy. Look to your home inspector to help ascertain the life expectancy and approximate cost of systems near the end of their useful life.
EXTERIOR VS INTERIOR – It’s almost always the case that when you pull up to view a home that has an immaculate yard, the inside of the home will be similarly well-kept. That pride of ownership also usually means that any issues and problems in the property were addressed and resolved when they happened, rather than neglected, potentially hidden and turning into a bigger problem.
DAYS ON MARKET – Days On Market (DOM) is a key indicator for Active properties, i.e., those properties currently on the market. In a market with limited inventory, homes that have been on the market for more than, say, a few weeks without selling are almost always either overpriced, have a major defect (failing foundation, for example), and/or possess an unusual or dysfunctional characteristic (proximity to an airport, for example).