(BPT) - Purchasing your first home is one of life’s most thrilling milestones. Whether you prefer an urban loft or a sprawling suburban dwelling, most homeowners hope to find a home that feels tailor-made to their specific lifestyle needs and design preferences. Still, searching for the perfect place comes with a big list of considerations, and you will want to ensure that the choices you make will keep you happy for years to come. Here are a few major factors every first-time homebuyer should consider before making the big purchase.
1. Must-have amenities
Once you make the decision to buy your first home, it’s all about refining your wish list. Unlike rentals, you now have an opportunity to make your forever mark — and you shouldn’t be afraid to create a sizeable list of must-haves. Everyone’s list of dream features is different — some may opt for outdoor living areas, while others hope for big bonus rooms or smart home capabilities. If you are a newlywed shopping for your first home, make sure to jot down the features you both crave. While it is unlikely that every single box will be checked off, you will come a lot closer to finding a space that you will both love for the long term by taking this extra step.
Pro tip: Start with an area of the home where you know you will spend much of your time, such as the kitchen. The kitchen is often seen as the heart of the home and for good reason — much of a family’s daily living happens here. Along those lines, new homeowners may want to consider a house with a layout that is already compatible with their needs or can be easily updated. By choosing a home with this feature, you are free to focus on making more efficient modifications rather than taking on a complete remodel — which can be costly and time consuming.
Replacing older appliances with new products that seamlessly fit into existing layouts is a great way for an instant upgrade, and you can now find some incredible packages that are both affordable and high end. The all-new Leap into Luxury Appliance Packages from Thermador offer impeccable craftsmanship and feature a full suite of products including new Masterpiece® Single and Double Wall Ovens and the brand’s first-ever 72-inch Freestanding Refrigeration. Intentionally designed with first-time homebuyers (and newlyweds) in mind, these product packages start at just under $10,000.
2. Specific architectural style
Take a moment to think about your preferred style of living. From modern and minimalist to traditional, how do you envision your home? No matter your preference, you want to make sure your home is one that you feel good about and happy to spend your time in each day. Because the look of a home is one of the first things that you (and others) notice, selecting a style that best fits your taste and preferences is of utmost importance. Keep in mind, small sacrifices may still be a possibility — if your home has the perfect backyard but leaves more to be desired when it comes to curb appeal, you may have to consider what matters most if both aren’t available.
Pro tip: Research the various house styles available. Once you dive into the details, you will be quicker to weed out options that do not suit your ideal aesthetic and you will more easily find those that work for you. You should also take a look at your surrounding neighborhood. While you want your home to be unique and speak to your personal needs and style, you also want it to fit in with the other homes on the block. Depending on your region, you may even want to narrow down your style based on what is popular in the area. One other thing to consider? Your long-term plans. If you are really drawn to a certain style that you have long coveted, take the leap. On the other hand, if there is a possibility that you will sell your home sooner than later, consider a look that is less unique and more cohesive with your neighbors’ homes to help ensure its resale value remains competitive.
3. A floor plan you love with options for maximizing your space
Choosing a home with the right floor plan is one of the most important decisions that you will make as a new homeowner. Your preferred arrangement of the rooms and how they all flow will depend largely on your lifestyle. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you are selecting a space that is right for your needs. Are you single? Are you a newlywed couple without children? Do you have a large family? Many families with younger children may prefer to have the more private areas of the house grouped together, while multi-generational households or parents of teenagers might opt for more separation. On the contrary, single homeowners or couples without children likely have a different set of priorities, so their home layout needs will vary.
Pro tip: Think about how you plan to spend your time at home and how much space you really need. Are you in the market for a single-story or multistory dwelling? Single-story homes tend to place public rooms in the center, with bedrooms and bathrooms designated to the outer areas. This layout may be especially ideal if you are a homeowner who plans to entertain often, as an open concept design tends to feel more inviting. Multistory homes, on the other hand, can provide the perk of views to the outside while also allowing family members more opportunities for personal space and privacy.
When it comes to your home’s size, however, not all square footage is created equal. When purchasing your ideal home, it is important to consider how you can make the most of your living quarters — whether you have a small space or are occupying a larger dwelling. For example, the newlywed couple who sees their bedroom as a sanctuary and an escape from the outside world may look to outfit a private corner of their suite with an under counter refrigeration unit or built-in coffee machine to re-create the honeymoon atmosphere year-round.
4. Future project potential
Even if you are lucky enough that your first home is your dream space, it will still likely require a bit of customization. Whether you have long wished for a chef-style kitchen, a zen-like yoga studio, or a decked out “cloffice,” it is unlikely that these features will perfectly pre-exist from the moment you move in. When looking at potential properties, keep an eye out for how much personalization will be needed. It would also be wise to think about how much work you can reasonably handle — and whether it is likely to happen slowly over time, or if it should be tackled right away.
Pro tip: When determining whether or not a home is the right choice for you, consider “future proofing.” While design trends are continuously evolving, ascertain at the onset if you will easily be able to implement features that will bode well for resale in the years to come. Smart home technology is just one example that has become an essential design element in recent years — and it is a highly sought-after feature that undoubtedly boosts a home’s value. With such an emphasis on technology in our everyday lives — from smart watches to cell phones — many are carrying over these innovations into their homes and looking for living spaces equipped with these features. For example, Wi-Fi-connected appliances throughout the home via the Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect™ — which integrate seamlessly with leading automation providers such as Crestron, Amazon Alexa and Josh.ai — can create a more enjoyable living experience. Smart home systems can elevate your everyday as you embark on your new journey as a first-time homebuyer — and in the future should you ever wish to sell.