5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

5 Tips for First Time Home BuyersBuying your first home is one of the most exciting and costly actions you’ll likely take in your adult life. Doing it right takes time. Finding a home — one that fits your current and future needs in a location that you love — isn’t always easy.

Before you scour the internet and talk to real estate agents about buying a home, there are a few things to consider. Whether you’re in your twenties or your fifties, be sure to ask about these five important factors when you buy your first home.

Buying a Home Near Local Services

While many homebuyers consider the location of a new home as it relates to work, school, and shopping, many forget to think about a home’s location to local services such as hospitals, fire stations, police departments, and sewer treatment plants.

For instance, living near a police or fire department may make you feel as if you’re in a safe neighborhood. However, the traffic activity and noise associated with these facilities can be disruptive to everyday life, especially at three in the morning when sirens blare. Additionally, living too close to a sewer treatment plant or refuse dump can be problematic, as odors occasionally emanate from such facilities, particularly during the heat of summer.

While it’s important to be within a reasonable distance of public safety services, you may not want them right across the street. Drive around the neighborhood during the day to see where services are and their proximity to the home. Then drive around at night to get a sense of how comfortable you feel there after hours.

Whether to Buy a Home Near an Airport

If you’re a frequent flyer, you may believe living near the airport is beneficial, and it can be. However, be sure to investigate peak traffic patterns to determine how they will affect your ability to get to and from your home.

You’ll also want to notice the airport noise level in your new neighborhood, whether you live near an airport or not. Neighborhoods farther away from an airport can still be in air traffic patterns and have to deal with the noise of airplanes routinely flying overhead.

Additionally, give some thought to air pollution. A study published in a 2014 issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests that heavy airplane traffic can pollute a significantly wide area around an airport and that you may receive more pollution from living near an airport than from road traffic.

Property Taxes on Homes in the Area

Taxes are often one of the things that homebuyers forget to question when they shop for their first home. So caught up in the cost of the home loan and monthly house payment, taxes don’t always come into the discussion until closing.

Also, many times there are tax breaks available to homeowners in certain cities and counties throughout the country. For instance, Clark County, Nevada (home of Las Vegas), offers veterans and disabled veterans tax breaks on personal property (home or car). Veterans who wish to obtain this exemption only need to take a copy of their DD214 or discharge papers to the Clark County Assessor.

Many villages have additional “village” or Township” property taxes as well if you live within the boundaries of the town. Make sure you check the taxes of the home you are thinking of buying before you make the leap!

Typical Cost of Utilities for the Home

The cost of buying your first home comes with more than just a monthly house note. Owning a home may require you to pay homeowners’ association (HOA) fees, homeowners’ insurance, maintenance costs, property taxes, and utilities. Sevices may include electricity, water, gas, reclamation, and trash pickup, depending on where you live.

If you’re unfamiliar with the area, be sure to get the names of the utility companies along with the average monthly cost of each service for your new home. Doing so will help you to understand more thoroughly the real monthly cost of owning a home.

Buying a Home Near a School

Buying a home in a great school district is one thing. Buying a home across the street from a school is quite another. Just like with the airport scenario, it might seem convenient to live across the street from a school, but the noise and traffic can become bothersome. Additionally, consider what happens once your child graduates.

A better option would be to buy your first home within walking distance of the school. When you’re ready to sell, you’ll be able to market your home to families as well as empty nesters who may not want to live near a school.

Buying your first home can be exciting as well as challenging. Know what you need to know, including finding out about these five important factors.

Are You thinking of buying a Home in Tampa Bay?

Use our site to search homes for sale in Tampa Bay and all of our surrounding areas. Unlike the “big name” sites out there, our site is directly connected to our local MLS and is updated EVERY HOUR. By creating a Property Manager account you can stay on top of the newest homes for sale and get Price Change alerts so you can stay ahead of other buyers and beat them to the BEST deals!

In the meantime, check out these 1 click searches:

Beautiful Townhome in Hunters Green $349,900 Pending

17543 Fairmeadow Drive Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,747 SqFt 0.090 Acres

This delightful 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath Townhome in the well-manicured community of Copperfield Townhomes boasts numerous updates and a spacious open feel with vaulted ceilings and additional natural lighting and views exclusive to the end units. The kitchen features all new appliances, solid oak cabinets, beautiful quartz countertops, an elevated countertop with additional storage on the back side, and a convenient pantry closet. Beyond the kitchen is the finished lanai, with AC and a large storage room, or step out to the screened-in porch where you can enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee and early morning breezes. The half bath, an interior laundry nook with New full-sized washer and dryer, and the spandrel under-stair storage closet complete the downstairs. Upstairs you’ll find a split bedroom layout with the master bedroom and second bedroom being separated by a bonus space which is perfect for a home office or game room. Both bathrooms upstairs feature new shaker-style vanities with beautiful quartz countertops. The second bathroom offers a walk-in shower with new contemporary tile, while the master provides a tub/shower combination. The spacious master bedroom suite boasts a walk-in closet as well as a wall closet, a linen closet, and two nice-sized windows. Other notable features include a newer water heater (2020), new A/C unit, updated electric, new water softener system,gorgeous wood-look laminate flooring throughout, stylish baseboards, chair rails, full-sized washer and dryer, ceiling fans, and ample closets & storage. The well-manicured Copperfield Townhome community is pet friendly (with restrictions) and offers a sparkling community pool, sidewalks, and maintenance-free Florida living. Take advantage of plenty of parking with one assigned space at your front door and guest parking nearby. Centrally located with easy access to the Veterans Expressway, shopping, restaurants, Tampa International Airport, and beaches, this charming home offers both comfort and convenience.  Don’t miss out. Schedule your private tour today! $299,900 Active

7524 Hollowell Drive Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 3 Baths 1,396 SqFt 0.020 Acres

Look no further! This stunning block home is the epitome of what you've been searching for. Meticulously maintained, it boasts 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, plus bonus add-on rooms. With granite countertops in the kitchen, ceramic tile throughout, and a 2023 roof and A/C, this home offers both style and substance. Freshly painted inside and out, it exudes charm with beautiful stone detailing on the exterior. Enjoy the convenience of no CDD or HOA fees, and relish its prime location just minutes from the highway for an easy commute, close to Tampa International Airport, fine dining, and fabulous parks. Don't miss out on the opportunity to make this income-producing property yours! $379,000 Active

2405 Durham Street Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,488 SqFt 0.110 Acres

Welcome home to this lovely open concept townhome in North Tampa. As you walk in, you'll be greeted by an updated open style kitchen, which is not typical for this community. Washer and dryer are located inside the townhome for convenience. Upstairs you'll find two spacious bedrooms each with their own bathroom. Flooring has been updated throughout the home. Lighting has been updated as well with LED lighting in some areas. Another rarity, is a wood burning fireplace which is located on the living room. This townhome offers a rare backyard space which is chic and spacious. It's a perfect place to hangout and grill. The backyard is also fully fenced in and has a storage closet. The community offers a pool and tennis courts as well as ample parking for both residents and guests. The HOA takes care of all exterior and community maintenance. This unit has a newer roof and siding! The location is ideal with easy access to I-275. $260,000 Active

13813 Stone Mill Way Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 3 Baths 1,261 SqFt 0.040 Acres