My Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

My Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

This post is sponsored by Lennar, the leading builder of quality new homes across the nation. At Lennar, Everything’s Included, offering the best value at an incredible price. Their homes demonstrate customer commitment by showcasing outstanding new construction and homebuilding excellence. Lennar asked me to share with you my tips for first-time homebuyers.

Twelve years ago, in the midst of planning our wedding, my husband and I bought our first home, a top floor condo with cathedral ceilings. I loved that little place, with it’s brightly colored accent walls and where a whole lot of memories were made in the first 9 months of our marriage.

When we decided to move to St. George, Utah the following spring, I was excited about what the future held. And while I don’t regret our decision to move, there are times when I wish we’d enjoyed our little condo for longer!

In Utah we found a beautiful, almost finished new home in a wonderful starter neighborhood. On a whirlwind trip to a small city where we knew literally no one, we were able to choose fixtures and paint colors for our new home before heading back to Maryland to pack up our condo and prepare for the move.

Two years later, after the birth of our first daughter and weeks after finding out we were expecting again, we were struck with homesickness and made the decision to move back east. We listed our home, loaded our belongings onto a tractor trailer and headed home to live with my parents for a few months while we considered options.

Sean found our little slice of heaven in West Virginia, and we ended up renting a townhouse in Winchester, VA for a year while we made plans to build.

And then, just a couple months shy of our 5th anniversary and a few weeks before our 3rd daughter was born, we moved one more time, this time into the place we still call home almost 7 years later.

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My baby sister is currently looking for her first home, and it brings back so many memories of our experience all those years ago. The control-freak part of my personality would love to just tell her exactly what to do or — better yet — make all the decisions for her! But I have more restraint than that, so I offer my opinion when asked and focus on supporting her instead.

If I could give her just a little bit of advice on buying her first home, though, here’s what I would say:

1. Bigger is not always better. I’m thankful we’ve always stuck with smaller homes (our current home is about 1800 square feet, so not huge for a family of 7), but sometimes I wish for an even smaller home just so we’d have less room for junk and less to clean!

2. Make a list of your priorities. These will depend on your preferences and lifestyle, but decide what features are really important to you not the ones that matter to other people.

For example, my husband needs to have a view. He loves being able to look at the mountains from our home, and every home we’ve owned has had one. A decent-sized yard for our kids to explore and play is also really important to us. But your priorities could be completely different — a big kitchen for family meals, a large rec area for get-togethers, etc. Think about what home means to you, and make your own priority list!

3. Consider the pros and cons of new construction. We’ve enjoyed buying/building our last two homes new for one simple reason: after the expense of buying a new home, we had several years before we had to worry about maintenance costs, which gave us a little breathing room rather than immediately having to worry about maintenance and house projects.

On the money side, you’ll find additional tools and tips for first-time home buyers — including details about the home loan process — from Lennar to help you through that part of buying your first home!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lennar Homes. The opinions and text are all mine.

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