Now that the wedding is over, you and your spouse are ready for the next exciting milestone: homeownership. But there are so many factors you need to keep in mind, and you want it to be a pleasant house hunting experience. The following are just a few things you should consider as newlyweds searching for a new home.
Marriage is a big transition, and it may come with some adjustments to your lifestyle. Have a talk with your spouse and discuss your long-term goals, such as whether you want to start a family or move to a different location for job possibilities. You also should take into account the safety of the neighborhood, the school district in which you live and the amount of families that reside in the area. If you’re thinking about having kids soon, having great public schools nearby is important.
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 and living room. If one of you works from home or needs office space, put that on the top of your list.
Compromise is often necessary. Identify which spatial features are and aren’t deal-breakers, especially when compared with other factors like location.
Bed and Bath Layout
The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home is another important factor you should discuss. Determine whether you want your home to be able to lodge many people or if you’d prefer to not have visitors. Just make sure you don’t go over your budget, because the number of bedrooms and bathrooms has a major influence on the asking price of a house. Decide if you really need that extra guest room if it means sacrificing a large kitchen or the perfect location.
If you intend to add a bedroom or bathroom in the future, check the county’s code and permit requirements, as well as the potential cost of the addition. If the price is less than what it would cost to buy a house that already has an extra bathroom, it may be worth it to wait and build one that’s to your exact specifications.
When you determine your budget for your home, make sure you include any ongoing expenses the home has. Utilities are a major cost that vary based on the sustainability and efficiency of your house. Consider the cost it may take to upgrade your heating and cooling system, 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 should also be aware of costs like homeowners association dues (if applicable), structural update costs, property taxes, insurance and any other regional fees.
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.
Source: Kyla Stelling/RISMedia’s Housecall