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:

Rare 0versized, buildable lot in SoHo with income! Only 2 blocks to Bayshore Blvd and 2 blocks to S. Howard Ave. Lot is zoned RM-16 with existing 1949 Bungalow that you can tear down or remodel and expand. Great SoHo location with existing tenant for income while you permit and plan. This 2/1 Bungalow would also be a great rehab and/or add-on but the real value is in this oversized multi-family (RM-16) lot! Recent survey in attachments. Beautiful Bayshore Blvd is only a couple blocks from this home plus this SoHo district provides incredible restaurants, pubs and shops including Hyde Park Village only minutes away, the popular Tampa downtown Riverwalk, MacDill AFB, Downtown Tampa, Amalie Arena ,the Cruise Docks, Aquarium... and soooo much more! Come live that South Tampa lifestyle in this adorable yet spacious charmer or build your own new paradise!
Recent Survey available. Showings are limited and require advance notice, property is tenant occupied. $695,000 Active

2302 W Texas Avenue Tampa, Florida

2 Beds 1 Baths 1,040 SqFt 0.160 Acres

Welcome to Avila, Tampa's premier guard-gated golf and country club community! This stunning custom villa is situated in Sedona, a private enclave within Avila. The bright, open floor plan features 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, with the fourth bedroom serving as a separate guest cabana complete with a full bath. Upon entering through the iron gate, you'll find yourself in a tropical paradise, featuring a spacious screened outdoor lanai area with a charming wall fountain. Past the double French door entry and foyer, you'll be greeted by a large formal living room with a gas fireplace and a formal dining room, elegantly defined by impressive columns. The updated kitchen and breakfast area open up to a spacious family room, all overlooking the breathtaking lanai and guest cabana. Off the living area, a large primary suite offers dual closets, dual sinks, a vanity area, a shower, and a soaking tub. Upstairs, two additional bedrooms share a bathroom.
 Additional features include a separate golf cart garage, a private fenced backyard, RH chandeliers, a water softener, and surround sound. Enjoy the Florida lifestyle in this fabulous home, conveniently located within 25 minutes of Tampa International Airport, downtown, and the beaches, and just steps away from Publix! Built in 2000. $1,300,000 Pending

16614 Sedona De Avila Tampa, Florida

4 Beds 4 Baths 3,057 SqFt 0.220 Acres

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! This perfect 3 bedroom 2 bath home on a corner lot in the heart of Westshore Tampa is one you do not want to miss out on! Circular brick driveway provides plenty of parking in front of the home.  Front door opens up to a spacious mud room that features french doors that lead to large courtyard and huge fenced backyard that includes a storage shed. Split floorpan allows lots of privacy in this home.  The oversized primary bedroom leads to primary bathroom and indoor laundry room. The perfect kitchen features stainless steel appliances and lots of cabinet space.  The living room located off the kitchen is so cozy and leads to the bedrooms and bath on the other side of the home. Located minutes from the areas popular dining spots, International Mall, Westshore Plaza, entertainment and more!  This location is highly sought after for school zone offering schools such as Plant High School. Minutes from I275 and Gandy Blvd making travel quick and convenient. This is a wonderful home that is a MUST SEE. Call today to schedule your private showing. $549,000 Active

4401 W Sevilla Street Tampa, Florida

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,240 SqFt 0.110 Acres

Welcome to this absolutely outstanding move-in ready pool home, located in the stunning community of Magnolia Trace. Low HOAs and NO CDD! Upon entering this breathtaking home you'll be greeted by large open floor plan with exceptional high ceilings throughout and a flood of natural light throughtout. This gorgeous home offers a floor plan with just over 2600 sq. ft, of living space, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, with a bonus office facing the front of the building, and a 3-car garage. With the master bedroom featuring an amazing en-suite with bathtub, his and her sinks, seperate shower, private toilet, walk in closet and private access to the pool. The interior of the home features high ceilings throughout large open floor plan which makes it amazing for guests, extended family members to come and enjoy special days! This home has numerous upgrades such as, new roof (2022), exterior/interior paint (2024), new luxury laminate flooring in office (2024), and vinyl fencing/ wood fencing. Along with the master bedroom having private pool access the guest room bathroom also has private access to pool which also features amazing double doors coming from the dining area with vaulted ceilings entering directly out to the pool with waterfall and screened lanai with two outside entrances to left and right of the home! This home is truly one-of- a- kind! It is located near top rated schools, New Tampa Library, parks, shopping centers, New Tampa Little League Complex, nature trails, and easy access to I75. This home won't last long so please schedule your private showing today! $545,000 Active

10557 San Travaso Drive Tampa, Florida

4 Beds 3 Baths 2,626 SqFt 0.180 Acres