A home is likely the most expensive purchase someone will make in their lifetime. It often requires years of saving money and planning just to get it right. However, for many first-time homebuyers, the process is a completely foreign one. With so much to consider and so much on the line, it's important to be thorough throughout every step of the way. If you're a first-time homebuyer, here are some general tips to get you a little more comfortable with your purchase.
Location makes all the difference
It might sound obvious, but location is one of the most important aspects when buying a home. Potential homebuyers should be assessing the housing market conditions in the areas they are interested in. Doing so can give you insight to things like whether or not home values are projected to rise in the coming years, or if people are leaving an area in high numbers. Doing a little homework can make all the difference in getting a feel for an area.
"Most buyers are choosing a (home) based on the neighborhood," Walter Molony, spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, told Yahoo News. "They want to be close to work or close to family and friends. If you are an entry-level buyer, you want to make sure you understand that neighborhood. Try it in rush hour. Get a crime report if you don't have first-hand knowledge."
Molony also suggested checking out the schools, something that is critical to every homebuyer.
Schools matter even without children
A Zillow report earlier this year highlighted just how important quality schools are to the housing market in an area.
"Two of the most important things homebuyers tell us they look for in a new home is affordability within their price range, and quality of schools for their children – often with specific schools in mind," said Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow's chief marketing officer.
The Zillow report also indicated that home prices were higher in areas where there were high-quality schools when compared to similar homes in areas where schools were just average. This significant impact on the housing market is one every homebuyer should take into account.
Insurance is always a good idea
First-time homebuyers will also want to look into home insurance. This coverage can make all the difference in protecting a homeowner from a number of things but at the very least, it gives them peace of mind knowing coverage is in place.