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Front Page - Friday, April 29, 2016

Three tips for first-time home buyers

Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Chris Mabee

Starter homes are no longer just a place to stay for a few years before you move into your “real” house. Today’s first-time buyers are putting a lot more time and research into choosing the perfect home – one that will meet their needs for a long time.

North Georgia and the Chattanooga area have a myriad of options for the first-home buyer, and although the task of finding a house can be both exciting and daunting, there are some factors to keep in mind that will keep you on the right track:

A home is an investment: While it’s okay to let yourself fanaticize about all the dinner parties you’ll throw and backyard softball games you’ll play with your kids, it’s important that you also remember your house is an investment. A huge investment. As you search for your first home, be mindful of its potential resale value. You might be comfortable with two bedrooms and a weird layout, but you’ll find that’s not the case for others when you try to sell it. Similarly, make a point to ensure the previous owner has maintained the house and the property well. A new coat of paint looks great, but if it’s covering up a structural problem, that could cause some trouble later.

You may live there longer than you think: At the same time as you consider the resale value of your new home, also remember that circumstances can change and dictate that you stay in a home longer than you’d expected. Make sure the house has all the must-have amenities on your list. Don’t compromise on the things that will make life unmanageable for you or your family just because you think you won’t be there long. One year could turn into four or five, and that 45-minute drive to work won’t seem so minor anymore.

New homes are an option: Not all starter homes are quaint little bungalows in older neighborhoods. Newly built homes are becoming a popular alternative for the first-time buyer, and many builders offer incentives for buying new homes. Additionally, the benefits of buying a new home are substantial for young families: better energy efficiency means lower maintenance costs; modern wiring and plumbing gives you peace of mind; and greener building practices benefits the entire community.

For more information on finding your first home, contact Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at (423) 624-9992 or visit us online at www.HBAGC.net.