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What to Look For as a First-time Rochester Homebuyer

Posted by John Graziose

Fri, Apr 6, 2018 @ 06:04 AM

What to Look For as a First time Rochester HomebuyerWe’re used to hearing that “One size doesn’t fit all” when making personal choices—whether we’re talking about shoes, cars, or even houses.  But there is some interesting information that came out of the recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Show in Orlando. There’s evidence that what you look for in a home also depends on whether it’s your first home or not. So let’s take a look at what to look for as a first-time Rochester Homebuyer.

According to the NAHB Economics & Housing Policy Group, here’s a list of the top 10 features first-time homebuyers are looking for.

  1. Living room (61%)
  2. Laundry room
  3. Dining room
  4. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  5. Both shower stall/tub in master bath
  6. Front porch
  7. Great room
  8. 2-car garage
  9. Kitchen double sink (40%)

It's interesting to compare this list with a list of what people who've already purchased at least one home are looking for. Here's the list NAHB shared that shows the top 14 essentials seasoned homeowners are looking for. Apparently, people become even more demanding once they have one purchase under their belts—so their list is longer!

  1. Laundry room (72%)
  2. Living room
  3. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  4. 2-car garage
  5. Garage storage
  6. Kitchen double sink
  7. Dining room
  8. Patio
  9. Table space for eating in the kitchen
  10. Both shower/tub in master bath
  11. Hardwood flooring
  12. Energy-Star appliances
  13. Great room
  14. Granite countertops (40%)

So what does that mean for you if you’re a first-time buyer in the Rochester area? For one thing, it’s interesting how many of the same features both first-time and repeat-homebuyers consider essential. If you ever decide to sell your home down the road, you’ll probably have an easier time selling it if it includes these features. Even if some of the features don’t make your “Top Ten” list, it may be wise to include them for resale value.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind. Some of the features on the second list show up there because they are things people who had already owned a house wanted (and perhaps didn’t have in their original home). Things such as table space for eating in the kitchen; hardwood floors; Energy-Star appliances; and granite countertops could be considered “upgrades.”  And while we firmly believe that you should set a realistic budget and stay within that budget, there are times when spending a little bit more can be a smart move. The upgrades mentioned here aren’t necessarily “luxury” upgrades (with the possible exception of the granite countertops). They are simply things that make living in your home more enjoyable.

The truth of the matter is that making these upgrades will never be less expensive than when you’re building. Renovating, or adding on later will cost you more. If you can afford it—including some of those items can really make sense. Not only will you derive more enjoyment from your home, but you’ll also make it more attractive to a wider group of potential buyers if you ever decide to sell.

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