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When it Comes to Your First Home, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

The Not So Big House

In the “bigger is better” world that we live in, it can sometimes feel like a small house is just not going to help you keep up with appearances. Far from being low-budget knock-offs of the American Dream, a small house can be a very sound investment, especially as your first home.

house-with-white-picket-fence

There are numerous reasons why people buy bigger homes, and some of them could be for all the wrong reasons. If you have a family of three, and you and your partner are now expecting triplets, then it probably makes sense to find a bigger place to live!

But many people end up on a larger home because they think they need to impress friends/family/strangers, they think a large home is the home of their dreams, or they are convinced by a Realtor that they can afford. Though Realtors are wonderful and you really shouldn’t consider buying a house without one, just remember their commission is determined by the selling price of the home you choose.

Learn more about what it takes to be a first time home buyer!

large-house-floor-plan

When thinking about buying your first home, where on earth do you start? Check out this great blog post about how to plan for buying your first home. In particular, think about your NEEDS vs. your WANTS. Yes, it might seem great to have 3 bathrooms, but then that gives you 3 toilets that need regular cleaning…

Living Large for Less

Choosing a smaller house as your first home can have some major financial benefits. In general, smaller homes have a lower price tag, which means lower monthly payments for you. This could help your bank account recover from the sticker shock of your student loans. Or it could help you build a comfortable savings account, allowing you flexibility for things like travel, hobbies, or starting a family.

Another benefit for you to consider, is the fact that smaller homes have a smaller environment footprint. You’ll need less energy to heat/cool your home, you’ll most likely use less water, and overall there is less need for maintenance.

green-home

In addition to helping the planet (and your pocketbook), this can all have a very mentally freeing effect. You’ll simply have less stuff and less to worry about. Isn’t peace of mind worth something?!

As if all of these factors weren’t enough to convince you, we have one more – a smaller, more affordable home is easier to resell. If/when it does come time for you to upsize/relocate from your first home, a wider percentage of the population will be more interested in an affordable home.

Photo credits:
American Dream
Floor Plan
Green Home

Jill Perney
Jill Perney
Jill Perney is the Marketing Analyst for AmeriFirst Home Mortgage. After a decade working in the non-profit arts sector, Jill has mastered the art of wearing many hats and multitasking – including such wide ranging tasks as managing ticket sales, marketing, analytics, fundraising, and more. Jill is mother to an animal obsessed 3 year old daughter, and enjoys cooking, knitting, reading, and traveling.

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5 Reasons Not to Skip Your Home Inspection

You found a house you love—hooray! But with lots of other buyers breathing down your neck, you feel like you need to act fast. To make your offer more attractive to the seller, you might be tempted to skip your home inspection, but here are five good reasons not to! 1.) Not all problems are obvious. It’s easy to spot issues like a crack in the sink or a broken light fixture. But do you know how to recognize foundation problems, termite infestations, outdated wiring, or sewer system problems? Trained home inspectors do and taking the time to have them go over the entire property before you sign the papers can prevent you from buying a headache instead of a home. BOTTOM LINE: The great thing about an inspection is that if you see major problems you’re unwilling to take on, you can change your mind and walk away. 2.) You may not be able to afford the repairs. If you’re like many new homeowners, you may not have much set aside to pay for needed repairs after saving up for your down payment and closing costs. While you may not mind waiting a bit to repaint or update appliances, waiting on problems like leaky roofs, broken plumbing, or infestations will only make them worse, and some issues, like broken furnaces, may need to be repaired right away. BOTTON LINE: You don’t want to go deep into debt to keep your home safe and comfortable. Instead, it’s worth negotiating with the seller to pay for repairs. If they refuse, you can simply walk away. 3. Some problems can make it harder to insure the home. Getting home insurance is essential because lenders need to see an insurance policy before you can close on your home—and of course, you’ll want to have your home protected in case anything goes wrong. However, some companies may decide that your home’s older electrical systems, plumbing, or building materials make it too risky to insure. BOTTON LINE: If essential updates are needed, the only choices are to ask the seller to pay for them, pay for them yourself if you can afford it, or walk away from the deal. 4. Serious issues can affect the resale value of the home. Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make. However, if it has major problems, instead of building your wealth, it could turn into a lousy investment that threatens your financial well-being. BOTTON LINE: While a home inspection typically costs a few hundred dollars, it’s an excellent investment in your peace of mind and financial health. 5. Some problems can threaten your family’s health or even your life. This sounds scary, but it’s no exaggeration. Issues like lead paint, black mold, radon (an odorless radioactive gas), or carbon monoxide leaks can cause serious and sometimes fatal health problems. BOTTON LINE: These issues are also easy to miss without a professional home inspection, and it’s simply not worth taking the risk. While it’s not easy to compete with other buyers who are bidding for the house you want, home inspections are one area where you don’t want to cut corners. To protect your physical, financial, and mental health, there’s no substitute for a professional home inspection.

6 Tips on How to Buy a House in Today's Market

Buying a home may be the American dream. But with escalating home prices, rising interest rates, low inventory, and inflation, as a first-time buyer, you may be wondering if that dream is out of reach.

Let's Talk FHA Loans

  If apartment living is getting old, or you've outgrown your parents' basement and house rules, you may be thinking about buying your own place. For this reason, you may be interested in learning about home loans that offer low and no-down payment options and have flexible lending requirements. One of these is the FHA loan. Let's take a closer look. 

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