When we first moved in, we had unlimited closet space, aspirations for changes we were going to make inside and out, and plenty of free time on the evenings and weekends for projects galore.
Now, as a family of four, we have zero extra storage space, some remodeling completed and some ideas scrapped, and free time? What the heck is that?
When it comes to owning our home, we have encountered some traditional issues along the way (e.g. replacing an aging furnace) as well as some that we would have never imagined (e.g. what do you mean we have to push the armoire up over the back deck because it won't make the turn up the stairs?).
If you had told me ten years ago that we would have encountered (and taken in stride) everything that we've discovered about owning a home, I might not have believed you. However, after all of our learning experiences, here are a five quick tips that I've come to believe in when it comes to buying a home:
- Don't underestimate the power of a good school district. When we began looking for a house, I was adamant about the particular neighborhoods that we visited because I knew which schools I wanted my future children to attend. Trust me, it matters!
- Stay within your budget. We all want to live in our dream home, but don't forget about the importance of keeping a little money in the bank for the future. One day your children might need help paying for college and and all of your retirement planning is going to hopefully let you relax and enjoy your golden years!
- Hire a home inspector. If you've ever watched HGTV, then you know that there is the possibility of a laundry list of potential problems to arise in any given home. Hire a professional to point out any issues (obvious or not) that could require costly repairs down the road.
- Follow your instincts. Typically with large purchases we feel the need to visit 20 different stores to compare each and every model and the price tags, right? Not the same with houses. I knew immediately that this was going to be our house before we had even set foot inside, so sometimes you just need to go with your gut!
- Look at the big picture. While buying a house is a great way to put your resources into a worthwhile investment, don't forget the amount of labor and money that will continue to be required. From new appliances to plumbing problems, you can't just call a landlord to come take over. So be prepared to physically, mentally and financially take care of your investment for years to come.
No matter how much we may have scratched our heads over the strange, DIY choices that the previous owners of our house might have made, we can look back on the past ten years here and put it all aside in favor of focusing on the great memories that our family has created.
We've laughed, we've celebrated, we've grown, we've loved — our house is much more than just the building where we reside and I check the mail, it's our home.
Do you own your home? If yes, what would you recommend to first-time buyers? If no, what factors will most influence your purchasing decision?
Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network but, as always, all thoughts an opinions are honest and my own.