Tips can help renters find their first home sweet home

When families are starting out, there are a few advantages to renting a home: Rent may be cheaper than a mortgage; no worry of home repairs and relocation for a job is easier. But, families often choose to purchase a home and increase their assets. If you are ready to take the plunge into homeownership after being a renter, consider these tips.

1. Find a Reputable Realtor

The first thing you need to do is finding a reputable realtor who can narrow your list of potential homes and guide you to purchasing the right one for your family.

When you hire a realtor, choose one who is licensed and has the right credentials for your area. Research to learn whether any disciplinary actions or complaints have occurred with the realtor and determine the realtor’s specialties. 

Also, ask the realtor for a list of previous clients. Look for the realtor’s current listings online, and view how closely the listings match what you want to buy or sell.

2. Know What to Look for When Visiting Potential Homes

A realtor will schedule showings of homes that you are interested in seeing. But, you may come across houses that are for sale by owner, and your realtor will not be able to take you through them. It’s best to look around to know exactly what to look for during your search for the ideal home. 

When it comes to a home’s interior, note more than the general information like the number of rooms and their size. Look for closets and storage areas to make sure the house will accommodate your belongings. Are there plenty of light switches and outlets? What is the age and condition of the appliances? 

Then, check the condition of the windows, ceilings, walls, and floors. If you notice several cracks, the house may have a foundation problem. Also, look for signs of water damage or mold. These are red flags that the house has a moisture problem and that could put your family at risk of respiratory issues and put your wallet at risk of expensive repairs.

As for the home’s exterior, note the age and condition of the roof and siding or façade. If the roof is old, you can alter your offer to allow for a new roof. Also, look for evidence of underground tanks on the property. 

Environmental regulations are strict, and if there is an underground oil or gasoline tank on the property, it will be costly to have it removed and have the soil tested. Also, note the property’s landscaping. Are the trees and shrubs too close to the home, and have they caused damage to the siding or roof? Or, is the landscaping going to be too much for you to keep up with if you purchase the home?

3. Visit Your Favorite Homes More Than Once

Once you narrow your list of prospects, ask your realtor to visit them again. This time, take the time to stand in each room and visualize what it will be like to live there. Is there too much traffic noise or other noise outside for you to feel relaxed? Do the floors creak when you walk, or is the furnace especially noisy? 
Picture your family in the kitchen and living areas to determine whether the house is big enough for your needs. The more time you spend in the home, the better the chance that you will know if it is the right fit for you.

Image via Pixabay by paulbr75