Renting has its benefits, but buying your very own home will always be a smart investment. Unfortunately, finding a home in your desired location and price range with all your preferred bells and whistles can be challenging due to the low inventory available. If you are part of the 33 percent of buyers who are purchasing their very first home, consider these smart options when browsing through the different real estate listings.
Potential For Growth
No matter if you are single with no plans on marrying or a couple with one child and no plans on adding more to the family, you should choose a home that has potential for growth. If you think 2 bedrooms are sufficient, opt for a home with 3. If you need 3 bedrooms plus an office, choose a house that has 4 bedrooms and a bonus space.
The average buyer of a single-family property will stay in the house for an estimated 13 years. You may not have any plans on adding to your family or accumulating more belongings, but a lot can happen in 13 years.
You should already understand the importance of hiring a real estate inspector before closing on a home. The inspector will provide you with a detailed report on the visible and underlying condition of the property, allowing you to follow through on the purchase after the existing owner makes repairs or letting you back out of the contract completely.
This inspection, and any necessary repairs, will give you peace of mind. However, having a home warranty is also a smart option due to the costs of common home repairs. From replacing a leaky water heater that has damaged the floors and walls to repairing an underlying electrical issue your home inspector did not see, a home warranty is a smart financial investment.
If you are buying a new-construction home, your builder should provide you with a warranty. If you are purchasing a home from another owner, ask the real estate agent to negotiate the addition of a warranty to the contract. If not, consider purchasing a home warranty on your own.
Living green is more than just a lifestyle choice; for many, it has become a way of life. Conserving energy and water while reducing your monthly bills are appealing benefits of choosing a home with eco-friendly features. Here are a few energy-efficient and water-conserving updates to look for in a potential home:
- Windows – Energy-efficient windows keep your home insulated, reducing the amount of air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter.
- LED Lights – Chandeliers, pendants, and outdoor lights that use LED bulbs offer a whiter, brighter light with a smaller amount of energy. Not only do LEDs last longer, but they use 25% to 80% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs.
- Appliances – Energy-Star–certified appliances also use less energy, reducing your monthly costs. Make sure your potential home has a refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and oven certified by Energy Star.
- Low-Flow Plumbing – If you will have a monthly water bill, opting for low-flush toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads is imperative. Low-flush toilets utilize a vacuum system, which reduces the total amount of water needed to remove waste from the bowl. Also, choose faucets and showerheads with the Watersense label. These faucets can reduce sink flow by 30 percent.
Ensuring your potential home offers eco-friendly options will benefit the environment and the planet's natural resources, but having a green home will also reduce your monthly energy and water bills.
Settling on a home is common with first-time buyers, but choosing a property that has one or all of the above options is a great place to start.