We bought our first home earlier this year and I’ve definitely learned a thing or two. I won’t bore you with tips on interest rates or anything, but I wanted to share things I wish I had considered (and some that I did!) before grabbing those keys.
How your family lives
Do you like to hang out and watch TV a lot? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors eating? Do you value an at-home gym? Do you cook or get takeout more?
I think a lot of us (myself included) get carried away with huge kitchens and open concepts that are trending, but if it’s not how your family lives, it doesn’t make sense. Take note of how you spend most of your time and what about your current situation you like/don’t like and think deeper than a pretty interior. Then when it comes time to look or buy, you might not need everything you think you would – and you might not compromise on areas you hadn’t considered.
How far you are from the freeway
In our last home, we were minutes from the highway on-ramp which was good and bad. It was quick to get places but we also had a lot of traffic close by.
If you leave your house often or commute, living closer to freeways might be important. If you work from home or are more of a homebody, getting places quickly might not matter.
I’m a VERY light sleeper so when buying our house I knew I wanted a quiet neighborhood. What I didn’t consider – and wish I had honestly – was the sounds inside. We have wood floors which are beautiful…but loud. Our bedroom doors are flimsy and they don’t hold sound well – something that’s hard when you’re a light sleeper and you have kids.
There are ways around this (they’re expensive), but I wish I had thought of the inside sounds as much as the neighborhood ones.
Small fixes that can make you happy
When evaluating a home, I think most of us know if we want a fixer-upper or something turn-key, right? But something to remember is small changes around the house that can make a huge difference. You can change hardware pretty easily — same with light fixtures, paint color, front doors, cabinet colors, stair railings, etc. If the home has good bones and you can make a lot of small changes as you go, you might have yourself a dream home. Just need a little creativity!
Anything to add to the list?