As a married couple, there is a lot of pressure to buy a home, but no one ever mentions why buying a home fresh in marriage may not be the right decision. When my husband and I were newlyweds, we rented first and while we thought each of those homes were great – when we first moved in, we soon begin noticing things that we didn’t like and things that we absolutely wanted in a house.
Here are 9 things we learned from renting a house before we bought our home, 5 years later:
1. Location, location – Our biggest move was 45 miles from my parents and almost directly across from my husband’s family. While my husband went to work, I was just left with me and my son. Life got lonely real fast. I soon decided I wanted to grow up closer to my family, so my kids could go to the same school as their cousins.
Another home we rented was back in the woods and had a long driveway that needed tending to in the winter time. Since the landlord couldn’t plow until later, this posed a big problem and caused my husband to be late to work a few times.
Finding a home with a perfect location is essential. You should look at schools, road maintenance, family, miles to and from work/shops, etc.
2. Heating System – My husband and I once lived in a home with a coal burner and it required a lot of work. When he was gone, I would have to tend to the fire and, if we were gone all day, we’d be forced to come home to a cold house.
If you have no idea how to cut wood or start a coal fire, this may pose a threat to buying a home with a coal/wood burner. And, if you have had the opportunity to run a coal/burner do you want to have to worry about coal/wood every winter? Chimney upkeep?
3. Bedroom Layout– When my husband and I got married, we would have had no idea how we wanted the layout of our bedrooms to be. In fact, that became the main breaking point when we bought our home because we wanted a home that had the bedrooms all together.
If you have children you may want rooms that are close together so you can get to them fast or you may want rooms to be on opposite sides of the house. You may also want to look into how many bedrooms you really need; how many kids will you have, do you want a spare room, etc…
4. Town VS. Country – My husband and I were both people who grew up living in houses that were in the woods, but after living in a few homes, we soon begun looking into the perks of a town – road maintenance, town water, place to walk, etc.
If you work a lot or don’t have time or money for road maintenance, buying a home in a country setting may not be for you. Or if you hate being around a lot of people, you may want to choose a country setting. Whatever you like, making sure you pick out all the pros and cons is essential to being happy in your new home.
5. Room Size – In our first house we rented I had a kitchen the size of a small bathroom and it was miserable; there was no room for anything and our house always looked cluttered.
If you like to hoard or plan on having lots of children, having enough space is essential to keeping a nice house. Room size is also important when it comes down to children; if you live in a 3 bedroom house, but have 4 kids, you will have to make sure bedrooms are big enough to be shared.
6. Yard Size – My husband and I always talk about owning 1000’s of acres, but after living on a large piece of land, we soon realized the upkeep was more than we had time for. While we may own land one day, we both prefer to purchase wooded land that doesn’t require as much upkeep.
Having a yard takes a lot of maintenance and money, so the right sized lawn is essential to keeping your family happy and keeping a nice home. You may also want to look into whether or not you will have animals because even a big dog will need a lot of space to run.
7. Closet Space – Ironically, closet space is one of those things my husband and I never thought about until we opened the door to our newly purchased home. Every house we’ve lived in, until now, had closets so when we found out our house had barely any closets, it posed a threat, thankfully, for us, we had a huge walk in attic to store things.
Closets are a home’s hidden storage, without them a house can become cluttered and you will have to look into other ways to store your clothes, shoes, cleaning items, etc.
8. Basement – This one was huge and extremely important to me. I grew up in a nice home with a finished basement, so when my husband and I moved into a home with an old cement basement, I had no idea how much it would change me. This basement was extremely terrifying, had bugs and just completely gross, so when we were looking for homes, I insisted on having a basement that I would feel comfortable walking in or just being in.
When you buy a home, you don’t want to be scared to go to any part of that home.
9. Fixer Upper vs. Move-in-Ready – At one time I wanted to fix a house up so badly, but after moving into an almost shack of a home, that dream faded. Fixing up problem after problem just gets stressful and hard on money; a home that is move in ready was a lot easier for our family.
Granted, when the house is perfect or cheap enough, fixing it up is never a bad idea. Always take into account if you have children, where will you live while you fix it up, will the repairs be safe enough for children to be in the home, etc.
10. Garage – My husband has a ton of “man-junk,” so much that I don’t think I’d fit all of it in my house if I had to. So, when we bought our house, he wasn’t the only one that was hoping for a garage.
If your husband, or you, are into cars, building or other hobbies having a special space to go work and store things is almost essential. Garages are also essential for taking care of cars if you have bad winters or a lot of rain.
What was that 1 thing you had to have when buying your home?
*Disclosure – These are just opinions and are in no way considered professional advice. This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy HERE.