First Family Home


Hi folks, welcome back. So today I thought I would share with you my experiences when shopping for our first family home. I was pregnant with our second baby when we looking, so we were looking for a house, that we could expand into. We had only just started looking at what was available, and thanks to we found a place almost immediately. We fell in love with an 1890s-era four-bedroom home with a sun-soaked first floor and a white picket fence in the backyard. We put in an offer almost immediately, and our offer was accepted.


It didn’t take long before we started to realise the house had issues, thankfully before it was too late. The master bedroom was in the attic, a floor above the others. If our daughter ages 3, decided to come and jump into bed with us, did we really want her climbing steep stairs during the night. Then thankfully due to a quality home inspection, it revealed many areas that needed significant work, we cancelled the deal. We continued our search and found the perfect house that was slightly newer, but it would have been easy to settle for the wrong one.


Thanks to a recovering economy and low mortgage rates, parents with young kids are jumping head first into the housing market. About four out of ten buyers today are first-timers. Making the switch from renter to owner can be a daunting process for newbies, though. There are numerous potential pitfalls, such as committing to a home you can't truly afford or ending up with a headache that requires costly renovations or repairs. Keep these factors in mind before you take the plunge.


Check your finances

Getting pre approval for a mortgage gives you a sense of how much you can safely spend on a home. It also shows sellers that you're a serious contender, which can make a difference when you're bidding against other buyers. There are two main things a seller wants to know about buyers: Are they willing to pay what I’m asking and can they close a deal if we agree.


Don’t let your emotions get carried away.

Probably over half of all homeowners have at least one regret about their current home. Don't make a purchase without getting a second opinion, and getting a reputable inspector in to check things over.


Plan your budget

If you're comparing renting to owning, keep in mind the additional expenses you might overlook. You'll also pay rates and insurance, strata fee’s. Heating and cooling bills and maintenance expenses such as lawn and garden care can add at another 1 percent to your tally. Also don't forget about closing expenses. Make sure you do loads of research on your financial outcomes. A great source of information is the government site Smart Money


Dot the i’s and cross all the t’s

This is the biggest purchase of your life, so you shouldn't assume everything's in order. Be sure each item you think should be included with the home -- appliances, light fixtures -- is specified. Check the quality of the workmanship, you can check my blog for timber houses. Otherwise, you might move in and find that a chandelier or an appliance is missing. If you don't understand what you're reading, ask a real-estate lawyer to review the contract. The cost is nothing compared with the potential savings of moving into a house that's everything you expect it to be.

Think to tomorrow

Consider your growing family. Will you have pets, are there dog friendly parks nearby? Will you have enough bedrooms for the family and in laws to stay. Is the heating and cooling adequate for the area? You should make a point of visiting your prospective future residence at different hours of the day and night to check parking, traffic congestion, neighbours. Find out if other families with young kids live on the block, otherwise your kids might get really lonely. What is the yard like? Many parents overlook their kids' outdoor needs. Check the availability and cost of nearby early-learning programs as well as the quality of the zoned public school. But don't stop there. Find out whether your kids would have access to a school bus and how long the ride takes. If you plan to walk, make sure you won't need to cross treacherous thoroughfares. Check out public transport to other area and local access to shops incase you don’t want to drive 2 miles just to get milk.


Buying your first home is a huge decision, there are so many things to think about. Just take your time and get a lot of professional advice.