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Understanding your needs before beginning the homebuying process is important. Especially if you have younger children (or plan to have children). The more aware you are of what you’ll need in the years to come, the better you can make decisions that will support those needs. Here are a few important things young families should consider before buying their first St. Louis home:
Take a Homeowner Education Class
The more informed you are, the smoother the homebuying process tends to go. Particularly in the case of how buying a home will impact your family, you want to get as much information as you can ahead of time. Taking a course (they’re often free) will give you an overview of what to expect and help you prepare ahead of time for the many stages involved in buying a home.
Be Realistic About Finances
Young families often have many new expenses. It’s important to take some time to assess these expenses and any future expenses — including things like childcare and extracurricular activities. Creating a budget for your family is different than creating a budget for yourself, and younger families who give this adequate attention in advance, will be in a better position to manage all of their expenses as the family grows. You want to have a strong sense of where you’re at, so that you know what you can afford going forward.
Clarify Your Needs
Young families often decide to buy a home to meet the many needs of their family. So, it’s essential to be clear on these needs and prioritize the most important ones. Otherwise, the house-hunting process can be overwhelming. Is finding the perfect neighborhood for your kids high on the list? Maybe somewhere with great schools? Perhaps you want to be close to relatives. How many bedrooms do you need now? How many might you need in 5 years? Need a playroom? A backyard? Make sure you know the difference between your wants and needs. Understanding your must-haves will ensure you take the right steps as you move forward.
I mentioned this briefly above, but the topic deserves more space. Your family’s needs may change significantly over time, and you want to choose a house that can grow with you. Are you anticipating more children in the future? You’ll want to consider that when it comes to space, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. Perhaps you have a baby now, but how much space will a five-year-old child require? Looking ahead to the ways in which your family may change is important when making a decision that fits in the long term.
For any homebuyer, preparation is the key to success. And this is particularly true for young families. If you want a smooth process that leads you to a decision you feel confident about, getting started on these things ahead of time is the best strategy.