Now that the wedding is over, you and your spouse are on to the next exciting milestone: home ownership! But if you want to ensure yours is a positive home buying experience, you’ll want to consider the following before you start your home search.
Marriage is a big transition and it may come with some adjustments to your lifestyle. If you haven’t already, have a talk with your spouse and discuss your long-term goals, such as whether you’ll want to start a family in the near future in which case schools are likely to be a consideration, or you’d both prefer to extend the honeymoon phase (and your active social lives) for as long as possible in which case walkability and proximity to restaurants, bars, friends, etc. may be more important. You should also consider your lifestyle and what amenities are important to you, for example do you do need to be close to a Wholefoods, a gym (health club), yoga studio, golf course, or your church? What about the safety of the neighborhood, the number of families that reside in the area, commute times, local appreciation rates (after all for most people a home is the single largest financial investment they will ever make). Even if you’re not planning on having children schools are an important factor to consider as they impact local property values. Check out GreatSchools.org for local school rankings, and consider moving to one of those areas.
Required Space and Amenities
Discuss what your expectations are for square footage and the general space you want within your home. Keep in mind the space you need for day-to-day activities, family gatherings and your future children. Create a list that helps you prioritize what kind of space is important to you as individuals and as a couple. For example, if you host a lot of parties, you may want to prioritize a large kitchen, family room, finished basement, or outdoor living space. If one of you works from home or needs office space, be sure to include this near the top of your list. What about pets, if you have or are planning on a dog will you need the convenience of a fenced yard, or are you willing to get your exercise with your K9 companion with a daily walk? And your car(s), will you need a garage or will street or off street parking suffice? What about closet space? Between his sneaker collection and your fashion obsession this might be something to consider. And additional storage, even if you’re not a candidate for Hoarders, you’ll be combining households and you won’t want to incur the cost of a storage garage as this isn’t cheap not to mention you’ll need space to store holiday and seasonal items like the Christmas decorations.
Keep in mind that compromise is often necessary. Identify which spatial features are and aren’t deal-breakers such as the amount of space versus the location, and the fixable faults like outdated appliances or poor paint choices vs an outdated floor plan.
Bed and Bath Layout
The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home is another important factor you should discuss. Talk about whether or not you want to play host for holidays or if you’d prefer to serve as a bed and breakfast for the in-laws and other visitors. Just make sure you don’t go over your budget because the number of bedrooms and bathrooms significantly impacts the asking price of a house. Decide if you really need that extra guest bedroom if it means sacrificing a large kitchen or the perfect location.
If you intend to add on an extra bedroom or bathroom in the future, check the county’s code and permit requirements and the potential cost of the addition. Home Advisor puts the cost of a total bathroom remodel at an average of $9,348 (this doesn’t include putting up the additional walls and running the plumbing for the intended space which could add an additional $3,000-$4,000). If this is less than what it would cost to buy a house with an extra bathroom, then it may be worth it to wait and build a bathroom that is to your exact specifications.
When you determine how much home you can afford, ie your housing budget, make sure you include any ongoing expenses the home has. Utilities are a major cost and these expenses vary based on the sustainability and efficiency of your house. Consider the cost it may take to upgrade major appliances, and windows and doors. It may cost more upfront but save you a lot of money in the future, so it’s important to figure out what you can afford in the short and long term. You also should be aware of costs like property taxes, insurance and any other potential fees such as homeowner’s association dues.
Look for a home that you can keep safe and sound with solid security features. Search for houses that have trees and tall shrubbery around the lot’s perimeter so they can block the street view of your home. This natural barrier is pleasant to look at and helps prevent burglars from scoping out or monitoring your home.
You also should protect your new valuable asset with a security camera system. Installing a full security camera system is not as complex as it once was and don’t necessarily require professional installation. Once you know what you’re looking for, you should choose a security camera system that has the security features you need to feel safe and protected night and day, such as HD resolution, long-range night vision, audio capabilities, a wide angle lenses and the ability to monitor the home from your smart phone.
Shopping for your first home as a newlywed couple should be a fun and memorable experience. Be sure to discuss your needs ahead of time, stick to your budget and enjoy the process.
If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals!
The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 Marysville 43040 43041 New Albany 43054 Pickerington 43147 Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235