Hindsight is 20/20. Nothing makes me realize that more than my first house. My husband and I were 20 and 21 at the time we decided to build our first house. We were planning our wedding for the following year, making big career decisions and we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. What we realized with hindsight is that we made a lot of mistakes and we wished we would have had some of these first time home buyers tips.
Don’t buy the first house you fall in love with or build the first house you like on paper or choose the first realtor or builder you meet. My husband and I picked the first plan we looked at the first builder we met. We didn’t like our builder at all. We bought the first piece of property that was available to us. We picked the first house plan we saw. We picked things we thought would look nice but weren’t what we really wanted. We didn’t incorporate any personal touches at all or work with our builder to make the plans our own. We let him decide things for us we should have decided for ourselves. Make sure that you feel so comfortable with the person/house you choose that you cannot imagine anything better.
This is one thing we did do right when we built this house. I came to visit every single day to check out the progress, even though our builder told us we didn’t have to. I’m glad we did, because the mistakes he made would have taken even longer to fix if I hadn’t caught them right away, such as the wrong exterior paint, the wrong interior paint, the wrong flooring, the wrong appliances (we paid for high-end appliances and he installed those dingy looking bisque toilets, sinks and appliances) and even the wrong landscaping. I actually had to stop the plumber from installing the bathroom toilets, tubs and sinks because they were wrong. I don’t know how much longer that mistake would have taken if he’d had them installed before I saw them. Your job is to be on top of your builder, your realtor and anyone else you are working with.
Consider the Big Picture
Maybe you don’t like to cook so you don’t think you need a big kitchen. However, what’s going to happen when you decide to have a family of your own and you want to have family holidays at your house where your mom and mother-in-law come over and do all the cooking so you can enjoy the holidays at home? You won’t have the space and it won’t be feasible. You have to look more at the big picture than the right now or you’ll end up regretting the house you chose or built. Of course, you’re always going to want to make changes and you’ll always find something to wish was bigger/smaller/simpler but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize those thoughts by considering the future rather than just how you feel right this second.