First Time Home Buyers Guide To Where & What 2 Buy!

Have you decided to go from being a home renter to a homeowner but aren’t sure what to do next? In this video, I’m going to talk to you about where and what to buy so you can make the best choice on your home purchase. We’ll discuss everything from home types to amenities so you can choose a house and neighborhood that’s right for you.

Cost, Amenities, And Schools

One thing to look at when you’re searching online is the cost per foot. Cost per foot will tell you how much per foot your home cost is based on the price that the seller and the agent are trying to get. This can be a great comparison tool when looking at two very similar-looking homes at different price points. You’ll also want to remember that cost per foot in the city is significantly more than cost per foot outside of the city—even for the same home.

When you’re thinking about location, think about amenities. What restaurants are close by? Do you go to the gym? One of the things I didn’t think about with my first home was how close I was going to be to all of the things I like to do. I ended up living in an area that was awesome in Sand Point, Seattle, where there were plenty of coffee shops and parks. Part of what I was paying for in that higher cost per foot was the lifestyle of living in Sand Point. That’s certainly something you’ll want to take into account.

When I bought my first home, I didn’t have kids. At the time, what wasn’t important to me were the schools. When looking at similar homes in two completely different neighborhoods, one of the things that can absolutely affect the price of a home and the price per foot is the educational system in the area. There are great tools to compare schools in Washington state so you know which ones have the best or the worst ratings.

Choosing Your Housing Type

Last—but certainly not least—let’s talk about the type of home. You’ve decided that you want to buy a home and you have a budget set. You’ve worked with one of my amazing team members to get pre-approved, not pre-qualified, and you know how much you can budget. You know your monthly payment, you know that ceiling on your preapproval, and you are a savvy buyer. What type of home do you buy?

Keep in mind that there are many differences between housing types. A single-family home means you’re not attached to your neighbor. A townhome means you are attached to a neighbor. A duplex means you’re attached to one neighbor. A triplex means you’re attached to maybe two neighbors. And finally, a condo means you have many neighbors. 

There is no right or wrong answer for the type of home, but keep in mind that the type of property you live in can affect your interest rate and your monthly payment. Condos typically have higher interest rates because they’re considered higher risk. This is because if Johnny upstairs decides to overflow his bathtub, that can negatively impact your home.

For a single-family home, you can increase the value much quicker. If you change the countertops, the sink, or the flooring in a condo, the value that you’re going to get back is typically 50% or less of the cost invested. On the other hand, you might be able to add a garage, deck, bedroom, or a floor to a single-family home. You can see a tremendous return on your investment for the work done on a single-family home.

The Right Choice For You

At the end of the day, your housing choice and location are all about what’s right for you and your family. Understanding the location, amenities, school systems, and the type of home are important factors in making your decision. We’re always happy to have conversations about these choices, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need guidance and the best place to settle!

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