Suburban homesAs a renter, you have the luxury of choosing a place that meets your needs at the moment.​ Buying a home is a much bigger commitment, both in terms of finances and the length of time you’ll likely live there. When buying your first home – whether a house or condominium or anything in between – it’s important to do your homework.

Here are 5 things to consider as you begin the process of purchasing your first place.

1. The growth possibilities. Shop for a place that meets your current spaces needs, but also consider one that can adjust to a changing household.

2. What’s under the hood. Your first place may not come with many frills or luxury features – but all the basics should be in good condition.

3. Know that no home will be perfect. Your first home may likely not be the perfect place. But make it the right one. Finding the right home is often a matter of prioritizing.

4. Consider ALL the costs of ownership. When you buy a home​, you take on recurring costs you don’t have to worry about as a renter. Look for a home that meets your budget in terms of full living costs – mortgage, utilities, trash pick-up, sewage fees, homeowner’s association dues and other fees.

5. The lifespan of things. In addition to identifying cosmetic and structural flaws before you buy, know what to expect from the home’s components. How long until you need to replace the roof, appliances, furnace or carpet?

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