Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is both an exciting and terrifying prospect. It’s probably one of the biggest investments of your life, and making the right choice is a daunting yet exhilarating task. Considerations range from hiring a home inspector to choosing the perfect location. Think carefully about what you want in a home, and be prepared for extra expenses like home inspections, renovations and even mold repair.

FINANCES

The price of the home isn’t the only financial consideration. Closing costs, insurance, property taxes and hiring a home inspector are just some of the expenses involved in buying a home. It’s also important to factor in any renovations that need to be done to make your home move-in ready.

Even if that odd paint color in the living room doesn’t make your house unlivable, it might be distracting enough to merit a paint job. If you have severe allergies, it’s also probably worth the expense of ripping up carpet in the master bedroom and replacing it with hardwood or laminate flooring.

LOCATION

Your commute, as well as those of your spouse and children, is an important consideration. Determine whether both of you will be at the same jobs well into the foreseeable future, or if telecommuting is a possibility. How long will the kids be in school? If your children are older, this might factor into your decision.

Proximity to public transportation is crucial if you live or work in the city. Be realistic about how far you’re willing to watch to catch the bus or ride the train or subway.

Your neighborhood’s activity level is also essential. If you enjoy a little nightlife or frequent meals out, you probably won’t enjoy living far from the action. On the other hand, a wide selection of bars and restaurants also means plenty of nighttime noise. Decide whether you can live with excessive noise, especially if you go to bed early. Of course, safety is crucial, so read up on crime statistics in the neighborhood where you want to live.

IDENTIFYING AND ELIMINATING MOLD

You may already recognize the importance of hiring a home inspector to go through your home and identify potential problems. Professionals specializing in mold inspections can zero in on this hard-to-find health hazard and analyze the need for mold repair.

Since mold can occur behind walls and in other “invisible” places, it may escape the scrutiny of your home inspector. Mold can grow anywhere that organic material and moisture exist. It’s even more prevalent in homes that have been unoccupied for a long period of time.

Wet spots on the ceiling or walls may indicate a burst pipe or other mold source. If you do need mold removal services, these may be included in the closing costs if you catch them in time.

Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

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