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While looking through homes available on the market can be exciting as you get ready to take that first step, letting the excitement get the better of you can mean you are left with unforeseen downsides to your long-term decision. Here are some unexpected things you don’t want to forget when you are buying your first home.

  1. The Driveway and Traffic. A house with a steep driveway or a heavily trafficked road may just seem like an inconvenience right now. However, if you are buying a home with your spouse and anticipate having a family in the near future, you may find that this minor downside becomes a much bigger obstacle. Wobbly toddlers and hasty elementary-age children may have difficulty navigating a steep driveway, and a busy road or steep driveway means that you may have to pack up and head to a local park for a quick ride on bikes or scooters.
  2. Fireplace Upkeep. There are few things more picturesque than a new hearth and home. If you dream of hanging stockings on a mantle for the holidays or lighting a fire as winter’s chill comes near, it can be easy to get lost in the romanticism of having a fireplace without truly thinking about the maintenance and upkeep required. If the idea of cleaning out your chimney and performing inspections for nesting critters each year seems like a daunting task, it may be a feature better left off your list.
  3. Cost of Updates. Updates can mean a lot of things in a home, from a full remodel to a new wall color. Therefore, it is important to gain an understanding of what a desired update means in terms of time and financial investment. A first home is ideally a place that can grow with you and that you are able to make your own as you live in it over the years. That said, buyers can often be deterred by minor obstacles, so allow yourself to imagine how the living room will look without that bright orange paint. Some updates are worth planning to take on, just be conscientious of your time, skill set and finances before going too deep.

Getting lost in the details can be easy when looking for your first home, and you will likely have to compromise on some ideal features. Fully understanding your future goals, current lifestyle and budget will be imperative to ensure you don’t miss any unexpected considerations before it’s too late.