What to Look for when Buying A Home for the First Time

how to search and find your dream house online

Are you trying to buy a home for the first time in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or any of the top European or Asian countries and you’re thinking if you’d need a realtor or if you can buy your house without any agent?

Yeah! You can buy houses that are listed for sale by the real owners, even the ones that are near you and you can as well outsource real estate managers to get the job done for you.

However, other important things are the steps involved, the process of buying a house, and how long it will take you to finalize the deal in any country you’re buying from since regulations are guiding the buying and selling of landed properties.

how to search and find your dream house online

In the UK for example, it can take less or more than four weeks depending on several variables like buying with a loan or cash, etc.

And to the process, you list the qualities you want your house to have, viz: landscape, bedrooms, garden, amenities, etc depending on your taste.


Buying a House for the First Time!

There are many things people can simply look out for when buying a house.

After that, your budget, how much you want to spend, get qualified and approved for credit in a mortgage bank or buy cash, contact the seller or agent and start making an offer after the offer is accepted, make payment and start working on the transfer of documents.

The real estate business in the UK has been profitable in this last decade, and now that the economy is slow due to the pandemic, there is no better time to begin the process of buying a home than today.

If you’re taking a mortgage, you should consult an expert on working on the terms, and you can use a mortgage calculator to calculate your repayment, interest, and others.

Working with a local realtor and their team of qualified associates can help you discover your home, a place to raise your family, and create lifetime memories.

Just like I said, there are many parameters to consider when searching, selecting, and buying your dream house but the most important factors an average homebuyer should consider are the following.

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what to consider if you are buying home for the first time

How many houses Can I Afford?

A determination needs to be made as regards the house you can comfortably afford without going into too much debt.

A home represents one of the largest single assets Americans own and too much mortgage can turn a dream home into a long-term financial burden.

You can check out online for the best states to buy houses from in each country to get a cheap house.

Some first-time home buyers like to buy their first apartment in California or New Jersey because there are less expensive and affordable properties there and the market is competitive.

An analysis of your monthly income (before taxes), expenses, loan type (i.e. fixed, ARM, 15-, 30-year, etc.), down payment, and other debt information can give you a good sense of the mortgage you can apply for.

If you don’t know how much mortgage you can qualify for, and how much you should spend on a house based on your income, there are mortgage affordability calculators to help you calculate how much mortgage loan you can afford and how much you should spend on a house.

You’ll input your income, for example, if you’re earning $50,000, $100,000, or $200,000 per annum, it’ll suggest a reasonable budget that will not affect other aspects of your life as a rule of thumb.

Another tip: pre-qualify for any mortgage you seek before discussing a home purchase with a realtor. You can also use loan prequalification calculator sites


Should I Fix-it-Up or Buy a New House?

The proliferation of home improvement shows on media such as HGTV and the DIY channel has fed a desire in many to attempt to buy and renovate older homes.

Words like ‘open concept’ and ‘cathedral ceilings’ seem to capture and inspire a desire to tear down the old and rebuild the new.

Generally, it’s not advised to buy a fixer-upper home as a first-time home buyer and a low-income earner as the cost of fixing an old house, renovating the damages, and restoring it could cost you a high budget if you don’t do your homework very well before making an offer to the seller.

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Get a home renovation cost estimator spreadsheet or use an existing remodeling cost estimate template that’s having similar variables to the old house you’re buying to get the average cost to completely renovate the apartment.

Do both the interior and exterior makeover, gut the rooms to your taste or better, and use some software and mobile apps to calculate and estimate the average improvement cost per square foot.

However, What you choose should be based on where you want to live, the type and style of home you desire, and the cost to renovate it.

As an example, a recent report put the cost of renovating a pre-1950 home of 2,000 square feet at $320 per square foot versus $280 a square foot for a post-2000 built home, a difference of $80,000.

So, for example, if you’re buying a 100-year-old house, the cost of repairing the wrecks is lightly going to be more compared to when you’re buying a modern house.

Even considering the small things such as – do the floors need replacing? Are the skirting boards in need of an upgrade?

The buying cost and the remodeling cost altogether can even equate to the budget for a new residential home construction when you do the breakdown properly.

Therefore, you need to weigh the cost of restoring old houses from start to finish, buying a relatively new house with modern architecture, and let’s say no more than 10 or 20 years old.

Compare this to when you go for new construction and make the final judgment on whichever one you’ll get the most return or value.

should I buy a new house or fixed the existing one

Location: How Close/Far Can I Be from Work?

You may want to ask, why is location important when buying a house? In the real estate business, location is one of the most important factors in pricing and making fast sales.

As an employee, you need to decide on your priority, whether cost or location should be considered first.

Choosing your new or next home, you should account for the distance and amount of time it’d take you to get to work unless you’re changing jobs before or after closing on a house.

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Sitting in traffic for an hour or more doesn’t make for a pleasant start to the workday nor does it add to your quality of life when rushing out the door at 5 or 6 pm, to catch a child’s school event or spend quality time with the family.

If you are not one of the fortunate work-from-home or telecommuters, your daily work commute is a factor to consider.


What’s in my Neighborhood (Stores, Restaurants, Community Centers, etc.)?

In addition to choosing the right neighborhood for your commute, you also need to consider the proximity of certain amenities to your new home.

Are you ok with driving a mile or two to do your grocery shopping or visit your favorite restaurant? How close to the city’s cultural center do you need to be and how important is that proximity?

The answers to these types of questions which should be discussed with a realtor can make a difference in where you choose to live.

To complement the checklist, there are other determining factors of the house to choose from depending on personal preference and some conditions of living. Some of them are:

  • The age of the building as we’ve rightly said and some associated risks.
  • The architectural design and aesthetics of the building
  • The size of the house, depending on the size of your family or your taste for an ideal house
  • The  layout of the property and the ideal space you need
  • The potential for expansion and addition of other structures.
  • The proximity of an apartment to the children’s schools
  • The crime rate of the environment or neighbors’ Characters
  • The cost of maintaining the property and other costs such as taxes and dues.
  • The potential is in flipping the property fast and making good profits.



Chloe Marie enjoys dining out with her husband, getting involved with community events, and taking dance lessons.

When she’s not doing one of these activities, you can either find her cooking her favorite foods in her newly upgraded kitchen or snuggling on the couch with her dog and reading a good book.