Jan 25, 2024
4 Questions First-Time Homebuyers Should Ask Themselves
Your budget and location are important, but there’s more to consider when buying your first home.
Buying a house for the first time is a big milestone—congratulations! A home is one of the biggest investments you can make, so before taking the plunge, be sure to ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. What is the true purpose?
Identify your purpose by asking yourself the following:
Is this a starter home or your forever home?
Most first-time homebuyers purchase a starter home.
A starter home may not have the amenities, size, or location you ultimately want, but they are less expensive with a lower downpayment. This lets you save up to buy your forever home, typically within 5 years.
A forever home is where you want to live long-term and should have just about everything you want.
Is this a fixer-upper or turnkey?
How much work needs to be done before you are happy and how much does that cost? Ask questions and speak to as many experts as possible.
Pay attention to the average prices that homes are currently selling for within your area. Keep a special eye on the highest a comparable home has sold for recently. This will give you an idea of what is possible including how much money you should put into your first house so you can make it back at resale.
2. What is my DIY skill level?
The price of building materials has skyrocketed, making DIY projects more costly than ever before, so make sure you buy something that you can handle. If you are a novice in remodeling, you might end up making a few mistakes.
Your home’s exterior requires a high level of proficiency and permits. Maxing out your budget on work that ultimately needs to be re-done by professionals is a real possibility. Replacing your windows, siding, roofing, gutters, and more are all projects where it’s best to hire a pro.
3. How does local weather affect my home’s exterior?
Look into the weather patterns where you want to live.
In a snow-prone climate, a severely pitched roof (think an A-frame) will help the winter precipitation fall to the sides of your home instead of having all that weight sitting on top.
In a hot climate, like Phoenix or Las Vegas, you’ll see homes that are one story, light-colored, and made using stucco. These factors help to keep the home’s interior cool and stand up to 100+ degree temperatures.
Also consider climate change which is fueling extreme heat, cold, and moisture.
It’s key to find yourself in one of these scenarios:
a) The home has weather-resistant and energy-efficient products already installed
b) You have the budget to make those necessary upgrades
Equipping a home to contribute to your home’s energy efficiency affects your energy consumption, increases your home’s resale value, and protects your investment from strong wind and torrential rain.
4. Do I actually know what I’m looking at?
A home’s foundational elements are what will save you money long-term in repairs and remodeling, but also in resale value.
When assessing a home with your own eyes, follow this order:
Go straight to the basement. If you sense humidity, moisture, and dampness, the foundation may be compromised. Visually, look for cracks in the foundation, standing water, or sump pumps.
Next, go to the attic. Push on the underside of the roof decking, look for mold, moisture, water, or stains, and assess for evidence of penetration or light where it’s not meant to be.
3. Everything Else
Finally, look at everything else. If you are led on a guided tour around a home, ask to walk around on your own with a critical eye. Is the A/C working? Is there hidden mold? Don’t just get sold on the story.
4. Further Reading
Like a home? Read up on its public history and learn the year it was built. This will help outline what type of electrical wiring might be within the walls and if a well or septic system lives under the ground.
Power is here to help with all your remodeling needs — whether you’re a new or seasoned homeowner. Check out our exterior products to learn more about our offerings.