If you’re thinking about buying your first home and you want to make sure it’s a perfect fit, don’t get too stressed out. Your first home doesn’t have to be – and probably won’t be – entirely perfect for several reasons. First, if you have a family, you’re going to outgrow the space as your kids get older. Second, it takes time to notice the little things you prefer in a home. Last, if you decide to build a home-based business in the future, you might not be allowed to run your business from your home.
If you’re worried about buying the perfect first home, let the following points put your mind at ease:
1. You can always turn your first home into a rental.
There are plenty of reasons to buy a house, and generating rental income is a big reason. If you buy your first home and decide later on that it’s not the right one, you can always turn it into a rental home.
Before taking on a new mortgage and turning your existing home into a rental, do the math to make sure it’s a sound financial decision. There are some situations where renting your home might not make sense or bring you worthwhile income. For instance, if you can’t ask for enough rent to make your work as a landlord worthwhile, you should probably sell it instead. However, if the math adds up and you can turn a profit, rent it out.
If you don’t want to be a landlord fielding calls at 3 am to fix broken pipes and appliances, hire a property management company to do it for you. It’s tough being a first-time landlord, and if it’s not something you’re interested in doing, you won’t enjoy the work.
If you don’t hire a property management company, make sure you keep up with the required maintenance and repairs. Green Residential recommends keeping a padded savings account to cover unexpected property damage, and under no circumstances should you use tenant repairs to practice your DIY skills. You may not care if a window screen remains broken for a month while you figure out how to fix it, but a tenant will. If you aren’t experienced with a particular repair, call a local licensed contractor to handle the job.
2. It’s okay to grow out of your first home.
Consider the homes built in the 1970s in some major cities. Many of these homes have extremely small bedrooms and narrow hallways. The layouts are much more confined than the homes being built today with open floor plans. As standards for home layouts change to accommodate modern living preferences, you might find yourself walking into a new home, wishing you had a similar layout. If your first home makes you feel like the walls are closing in on you, it’s okay to find a new home.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting an upgraded home. In fact, it might be easier and less expensive to buy a new house rather than attempt renovations on your existing home. Renovating an existing home requires working within a limited design, while new construction is virtually unlimited.
Depending on the renovations you want to perform, you might end up paying higher property taxes for adding rooms or permanent structures to the property. You’ll also need to go through the lengthy process of getting permits, which might end up in delays.
3. Perfect homes don’t exist.
The idea of perfection is only an ideal – perfection doesn’t exist anywhere in the tangible world. Even the most beautiful plants found in nature have blemishes and imperfections. Sunflower seeds, for example, exhibit a mesmerizing pattern that appears perfect. However, if you look closely, you’ll find at least one seed that didn’t grow to maturity or a petal that didn’t grow quite right.
Your first home won’t be perfect no matter how perfect it may seem in the beginning. Over time, flaws will stand out and grab your attention. You’ll find something to complain about, whether it’s the actual house or your décor. You’ll deal with repairs and maintenance needs that will cost more than you expected and take too long to complete.
It’s not easy owning a home, and it’s impossible to maintain a perfect home. Don’t spend too much time trying to achieve perfection. Find a home that works for you and your family, and be prepared to move on when you outgrow that home.
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
Photo credit: iStockPhoto