A starter home is the training ground for home buying. The first home allows you to make all the mistakes. It trains you on what to look for the next time. What features you absolutely need, what type of neighborhood a home needs to be located in and what kind of maintenance you are willing to do with your home. But, much of that training can be eliminated by having the right realtor who will teach you the ins and outs before the papers are signed. The realtor will help ask the questions regarding the home in the present and then in the future. Here are a few features of a home that every homebuyer should have on their list.

First, you need a Real Estate Agent who is experienced in what you are looking for in a home. Negotiating for a purchase, finding excellent financing and giving advice that is understandable and valuable is a talent. A good real estate agent will do all of this with ease. Let this person do the negotiating and the advising!

Location of the home or property is everything. Before you even start looking at homes, you need to know where you want to live. Is it in the country or in the city? Near schools? Near work? Near family? Having the right location can mean everything to your entire life. Checking crime rates, quality of schools, future developments and suburban sprawl are a few other details that can be deciding points on the right location for a home.

Handiness to the fun stuff is ideal. Shopping centers, parks and pools, golf courses and movie theatres can all be considered in the location of a home to buy. Also, public transportation, major highways and ease of travel play a part in a home purchase. The distance of a sports stadium and recreational facilities should be looked into. Most people like a home that has easy access to work and play. So, the distance between these important aspects of life should be investigated. Taking the time to consider the proximity of all of these things can be important in home buying.

Size, shape and number of rooms is a base point of house hunting. You want a home that fits you and your family and all of the activity of your life. Having enough room and rooms can accommodate a daily life that is comfortable. You want to consider who is going to clean the house if it is too big! Squishing into a new home makes you want to move out as soon as possible. But, moving into a home that is a bit too large, allows you to grow into it.

Yards, acreage, patio or porch are elements that play a role. Living on 220 acres may not be important to all homeowners but other outdoor amenities can mean everything in the purchase decision. If you have horses or chickens and large dogs, having acreage can seal the deal. But if you like a good cookout on the patio with family and friends and enough back yard space to eventually put in a pool, you need to consider these points in your hunt for a home. The right amount of outdoor space can create extra living areas a more delightful lifestyle.

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Do you like to wake up with the sun shining in? The way a house is situated on a lot can dictate how the sun comes in, how weather affects the heating and cooling costs, and the way one approaches the house on arrival. The front door facing the street has long been a standard of a home’s position on a lot. But, builders have been laying out homes on an angle to catch the sunlight at the right time of day and to adjust to the costs of controlled heating and cooling. When looking at homes, the placement on a lot needs to be considered.

What decade a home was built should be basic criteria in searching. Some like old homes and others prefer brand new. Homes that have never been lived in or homes that have a history of families living in it for years should be considered as a preference from the beginning. Each has its plus and minuses but can make a large difference in the price, maintenance and location.

Bringing the house into modern times can increase the value of your investment. An older home may have a claw foot bathtub, but is the water going to that tub safe and clean? Modern upgrades can mean everything before you buy. If a walk in shower is important or even a dishwasher, make sure you put those on your “requirements” list. You want to look at the age of the roof and the last time that wiring was done throughout the house. Plumbing is another major issue and even the floor plan can play into how modern and upgraded the house is. You don’t want to buy the house and then have to invest tens of thousands of dollars to bring it up to this century!

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You need room for everything. Yes, you need room for each member of the family, but families accumulate stuff. If you have large furniture, you will need to look for a house that can accommodate a sectional couch, a 54” television and a couple of hutches. The eating area should be considered as to whether or not a family Thanksgiving dinner can be handled. Also, the layout of the rooms needs to be analyzed. If you have to walk through one bedroom to get to the next, this may not work with children of various ages. A house has to function for all of its members!

Price is everything. Buying a house that you can not make payments on makes no sense. You want a home that you can live in comfortable, afford the payment and increase in value over time. You may not get everything on your list the first time you buy a home. But, with the right realtor and working within the affordable range, you should be able to find your First Dream Home.

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