Buying a home for the first time will be a milestone in your life, so it is not something you want to rush into. The home buying process can be rewarding, but you don't want to have regrets because you bought a home that wasn't right for you. In order to avoid buyer's remorse, be sure that your home meets these criteria.
Location is key when buying a home. Even if your home has met all the criteria you're looking for in the home itself, the location can be a deal breaker.
You'll want a home that's a good distance from where you work. Don't just run the travel time through Google Maps. Try it out yourself one day. Plan to commute to work with your starting point being your potential new home, leaving at the appropriate time so that you arrive to work on time. Is it a commute you could see yourself doing every day for the foreseeable future? You may be surprised to learn that the rush hour traffic isn't great and you need something closer.
In addition, look for other factors such as the upkeep of homes in the surrounding neighborhood, the crime rate, and how walkable your neighborhood is to nearby stores and the local schools.
Many homeowners don't correctly factor in the taxes of a house when it comes to their budget. For instance, the property may be on two lots, which could double the taxes that you have to pay. The previous taxes may be based on a senior that owns the home, and is receiving reduced taxes from what they actually will be for you.
Make sure you get an accurate assessment of what the taxes will be, and verify they are low enough to stay within your budget for housing.
Your potential home may look great on the outside, but are the guts of the home good? You'll need to get a professional home inspection done to take a look at what is going on that you cannot see. Part of the inspection involves looking at the foundation, plumbing, electrical, insulation, and the quality of the appliances that run the home. By getting an inspection, you'll be able to find problems with those things before you agree to purchase the home. A company like Watson Inspections can help you learn more about inspections.
For more criteria to put on your new home checklist, speak with your real estate agent.