Often, one of the first major life steps that newlyweds must make as a couple is buying a first home together.  An incredibly important step for anyone, this decision is often a first-time experience as well as choice with very expensive price tag!  A newly married couple would be well served to embrace caution before starting their climb on the property ladder, and to follow these 4 home-buying tips:
1. List Out Your Priorities
The consequences of buying the wrong home in the wrong location are much more far-reaching than almost any family purchase, so the first step towards buying a home as a new couple is to determine the “must have” features.  The most common and important priorities to consider are home size, design, and location. This is the time when couples can choose whether they want a house with room to grow, or a neighborhood with lovely parks or convenient shopping areas, so it’s very important to decide on top priorities, and hold fast when it’s buying time.
2. Research
Once a couple has hammered out their top non-negotiable priorities, a good next step is to research the possible neighborhoods and areas that best fit their values.  The Internet is a homebuyer’s best friend, and there is an endless supply of real estate sites available.  Couples can have a much better grasp on the local real estate market than was possible just decades ago.  This tool is best used to whittle down the overwhelming choices down to a manageable number, but does have its limits as well.  Always visit the area of a prospective home and take stock of the surrounding community.  Chatting with area residents is the best way to find out “off the record” information about the neighborhood, and the prospective home.
3. Find A Trusted Real Estate Agent
It’s often possible to assume that the a combination of Internet and on-the-ground research are enough when it comes to deciding on a home, but hiring a quality real estate agent can be a game changer when it comes to buying a home.  A good real estate agent will have access to in-depth information, experience to help guide a couple towards the right home, as well as price-negotiating savvy.  These agents can often make tens of thousands of dollars difference in the price of a home!  They also serve as a buffer between buyer and seller, and handle the mass of paperwork to make the transition as stress-free and seamless as possible.  ­
4. Financial Preparation
There are two main avenues of purchasing a home, purchasing the home outright with money already in the bank, or obtaining a loan and providing a down payment.  It is crucial for a couple sit down and to determine their optimal budget, as well as exactly where this money will come from before shopping for a home or signing a home contract.  Most lenders require a down payment of twenty percent of the cost of the home, so keep this in mind.  Also, remember to factor in insurance, and closing costs to the home budget.
A couple’s first home is a giant step for a new family, and can be the most memorable move of their lives.  Following these tips will aid in making the memories good ones!