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Buying your first home can be both an exciting and overwhelming process. Especially for first-time buyers, understanding how to find a home that’s right for them is an essential step. When buyers jump in too quickly or haven’t properly evaluated their situation, they can wind up with regrets about their purchase down the line. And while you can always sell your home and move again, it’s better to do that because you want to, not because you have regrets. So, what can first-time Des Moines homebuyers do to make a choice they’ll feel good about? Let’s dive in:
Separate Wants from Needs
Especially when it’s your first home, it’s easy to have a long list of wants. And this is actually a good place to start. Getting as specific as possible about all the things you’d love to have in a home is great. But stopping there can set you up for an overwhelming process and possibly a home that isn’t a great fit. Once you make this list, it’s important to pull out the things you need. What are your non-negotiables? The things that a home must have, even if it ticks several other boxes of things you want.
Establish Your Priorities
It’s also useful to think about your priorities as a homeowner. Yan can start by organizing those lists further, ranking the things you’d like to have and need to have. Another important way to establish your priorities is to take a step back. It can be difficult to get clear on these when you’re looking at several homes and feeling the pressure. Before you even start your search, it’s important to look at your vision for the next several years and the things that are most important to you. If you’re starting a family, for example, maybe you’ll want some additional space and a yard. Thinking about what really matters to you can help you ensure your home fits with that vision.
Know Your Financial Limits
One of the biggest regrets is often around finances. Homebuyers who haven’t gotten clear on their budget run the risk of going over it. This isn’t just about how much you’re pre-approved for or the downpayment you’re willing to put down. It’s about understanding the monthly breakdown of your purchase so that you can determine if it’s right for you or not. Setting a goal range and a maximum upper limit for a home you completely fall in love with is a wise strategy. That way, if you find what looks like your dream home but it’s well outside your budget, you won’t stretch yourself too thin trying to make it work.
Finally, it’s so important to be clear about all of these things with your partner if you’re buying a home together and with your real estate agent. Making sure everyone is on the same page and agrees on some shared goals can help the search itself go much smoother and can also make it much easier to find a home that really fits what you’re looking for.
Buying a home is a big decision, and buyers should take the steps that they can to ensure they choose wisely. Do you have any other tips for first-time buyers to avoid any home-buying regrets? Please share them in the comments below!