New Homeowner Tips

Buying a house for the first time is a big step in life and I just want to say, congratulations! If you have found your way to this post, it is likely that this is your first time searching for a home to call your own. I know that it is exciting and also a little scary. There are many questions that you may have about a potential house and I want to help you answer them! When you’re out there shopping around, take these new homeowner tips with you and you will be a little better prepared to make the right decision for you and your family’s future!

The Kitchen
Whether you are into kitchens or not, this is the room that has the highest capacity for giving homeowners headaches AND denting their wallets. Kitchen remodels can easily cost $20,000, so when you go into the kitchen, take a good hard look, ask questions and be sure that you like what you see. Does it have stainless steel appliances? Is the homeowner taking the fridge- which is extremely common? Do you like the floor? 

The Heating and Cooling
Furnaces and central air conditioning units are both very expensive to replace. Though less than a kitchen, you’re still looking at an automatic four figures for each. Make sure you have an expert take a good look at both units to ensure you’re not going to be saddled with a giant expense early in your experience as a first-time homeowner. Many home buyers negotiate for appliance warranties as part of the contract, but you don’t get it if you don’t ask.

The Elephants in the Room(s) 
These are the big parts of your house that you can’t properly assess the quality of with the naked eye, but if they aren’t in good shape, they can come back to bite you big time. This means the roof, the foundation, the walls, and even the sidewalks and driveway. Hiring a reputable home inspector is the best way to make sure you don’t get burned by these big things that you can’t see. Is your house leaning a bit? Has water washed away a chunk of the dirt on the side of your house? Are there parts that are rotting? Is your backyard on a slope? You need to make sure you know all of these answers before you leave the walk through and get all your other questions answered by the home inspector. Some of these aren’t that big of a deal, maybe you just need to buy a few bags of dirt to build up part of the ground, but it could end up being a lot more of a pain and take a big chunk out of your wallet. 

The Neighborhood
What’s going on in the neighborhood around the house? Are there other kids for your kids to make friends with? Or do you not want kids around? Is there a good school? Are there thriving businesses or remodeled homes that suggest that property values will go up in the future? Don’t just get out of your car, check it out, and leave again. Have a few good strolls around the neighborhood to help you decide if this is really a place you would like to be, long-term. 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
It truly is not a big deal if you hate that the trim of the house is brown instead of white or you don’t like the knobs to the drawers in the kitchen. These are small fixes that could be fun to change yourself! Painting trim is not hard and replacing cabinets knobs isn’t expensive. It’s fun to be able to put your personal flare into things anyway, such as a cool new light. If the whole house is carpeted and you want to replace it ALL with nice hard woods, that’s a little bigger of a deal. 

Water Spots
Check the ceiling when you do your walk through. Can you see water stains or spots? It’s not a detrimental sign if you do, but you’ll need to get the roof thoroughly inspected. So don’t forget to look up!  

Don’t Get Pushed Around
As much as everyone is going to act like they want to help you and make this nice and easy, real estate agents need to get paid, and sellers need to sell their homes. If you can, enlist a trusted friend or advisor who has been there before. They can help you understand what your options are in terms of negotiating, and what your best move might be. If you’re made to feel crummy about the situation at all, there’s no reason not to walk away. 

Now, with these new homeowner tips you should feel empowered with wisdom and go forth with your house hunt! Continue your home shopping and don’t be afraid to be assertive. Ask questions and be vigilant. Don’t force yourself into a home that may not be right for you in the long run. From all of us at EZsmart, good luck!