After years of paying rent, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and buy your own home. Although this can be an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming. This can especially be the case for first-time homebuyer. However, it doesn’t have to be when you follow certain guidelines to make the job go smoother. Here are some important tips and guidelines for first-time Denver homebuyers.
Where a home is located should be one of your most significant considerations. While young singles may be more interested in an urban area that’s near their work and social life, most families prefer to be in neighborhoods that are close to good schools, parks and other family-oriented features.
Decide if a home you’re considering is located in a safe area in which residents aren’t afraid to walk around freely in a neighborhood. Is the property you’re considering close to a good commercial district? Or, maybe you’d love to be near a beach or lake. If this is the case, remember that the closer a home is to water, the more expensive it can be. Generally, you’ll also probably pay more for property that has stunning mountain views.
Determine the Type of Home You Need
There are several kinds of homes from which to choose with each type having their own advantages and disadvantages. These options include single-family or traditional homes, townhouses, condos, mobile homes and multi-family structures that contain two to four units.
What’s more, ask yourself if you’d prefer a one-story (ranch) home or a two-story or even a split-level house. If you’re a senior citizen and want a home with more than one level, just be sure that you’ll be able to climb stairs as you continue to age.
Size and Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Consider how many square feet your house needs to be, keeping in mind any future needs. Many young couples intend to start a family, so they buy a home that has at least two bedrooms and more than one bathroom.
Do you frequently entertain overnight guests or enjoy having your kids or grandchildren stay with you? If so, you’ll need enough guest bedrooms. Consider if you need a garage and how much room you’ll need for storage, such as for housing vehicles and boats.
Type of Neighborhood and Activities Nearby
Find out as much as possible about the demographics of a neighborhood. Ask if a neighborhood consists mostly of renters or homeowners? If you have young children, you probably want to be in a family neighborhood rather than one made up of mainly single people.
Another consideration is if there are activities near the home that you’re considering buying, such as a community center. This may be huge bonus is you’re an older homebuyer who’s widowed and wants to meet other single seniors.
Financial Concerns (Mortgage loan, down payment)
- Get your financing in order before even searching for a home. One way to roughly determine the amount of mortgage loan you can afford is to triple the amount of your annual income.
- As for a down payment, most real estate professionals believe that home buyers need to save at least five percent, or more, of the cost of a home for a down payment. Of course, this amount can vary greatly.
- When determining your home buying budget, keep in mind you’ll need to allow for closing expenses to see what you’re able to afford. Often, the closing costs amount to about 1 to 2 percent of a purchase price.
- You’ll also need to consider property taxes, the cost of home insurance and expenses for upgrades or home improvements.
- Find out if a development has a homeowners’ association and the amount of dues required for covering repairs and other expenses.
Additional Considerations and Warnings
- Although home inspections should be conducted on any home, it’s particularly crucial to have a home inspection on older houses. You need to look beyond the visible appearance of a house and thoroughly examine its infrastructure, including plumbing, waste lines, faulty fixtures, electrical systems, floor joists, foundation walls and other possible issues.
- Consider the amount of maintenance a property requires. Besides house maintenance, you’ll also need to determine how much upkeep is needed for landscaping. If you’d rather not spend your weekends trimming bushes and fertilizing flower beds, then don’t buy a home with too many plants, flowers and trees that require regular maintenance.
- Buying a fixer-upper, instead of a move-in ready home, is usually cheaper. On the other hand, fixer-uppers can involve considerable money and labor just to transform them into dream homes.
- Consider how long you plan to stay in your new home.
- If you don’t want to resale your home later, but are thinking about becoming a landlord someday, ask if a home has the potential to be rented out in the future.
The right real estate agent can make a huge difference in helping you find just the right home. Don’t hesitate to call a professional Denver Realtor. Please contact me.