For the vast majority of people, buying a home will be the biggest purchase decision of their entire lives. Unlike buying a TV, computer, or even a car, when buying a home you can’t just check off the features you want and choose from the available options you see online or at a store. As a first-time homebuyer, finding the perfect property here in the Salt Lake area requires dedication, patience, and a bit of luck. This guide will help you through that process.
Focus on what you can’t change
When looking at houses, many first-time buyers get hung up on interior details: the color of the walls, the kitchen appliances, the flooring and carpeting, and so on. These are all things that, with enough time and money, you can actually change later on. While it’s easy to focus on aesthetics as a first-time home-buyer, you should really be focusing on the things you can’t change– like where the house is located, the layout of the home, the size of the property, etc. I have worked with a number of clients that are wanting to move because they overlooked things like this when they purchased their first home.
Location, location, location
The most beautiful house on the block might sound like the house you want to buy…until you uncover the details of that particular neighborhood. It could very well be the case that your “dream home” is nestled in a high-crime neighborhood, or that it’s just a few yards from the freeway. As a first-time home-buyer, it’s all too easy to overlook such crucial location details. Remember: you can always renovate your house if you’re not one hundred percent happy with it, but you’ll never be able to renovate your neighborhood. So choose your home’s location wisely! I recommend frequent visits to the area at different times of the day to get a good grasp as to the ambiance of the neighborhood.
Avoid “bargain” homes
The old adage holds strong even in real estate: if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably not true. If there’s a house on the market with an unbelievably low price, don’t get suckered in to thinking you’re getting a great deal. “Bargain” homes are often the ones with damage or other problems that can be difficult (or impossible) to fix. Also I recommend you avoid short sales and foreclosures. Mainly due to the time it can take to close the sale. The average close time on these are 6-8 months.
Be sure you’re ready to take the next step and read up on these common homebuyer mistakes. Don’t forget to reach out to me with any questions or for more advice and assistance finding your dream home here in St Pete.