If you’re looking at homes to buy for the first time, you might find the process overwhelming. Comparing the different homes you see, along with the pros and cons of each, takes both time and attention. If you’re already busy with day to day life and trying to shop for home on top of your normal responsibilities, keeping track of the ones you like and how they stack up takes some effort.

While each property is likely to have distinct features and advantages, making them hard to compare directly, there are a few categories that you can easily evaluate each property in to help you make the best decision.

Cost Per Square Foot

It can be hard to compare homes at different price points within your budget, so calculating the cost per square foot allows you to make more of a direct comparison. To calculate this, take the price of the home and divide it by the total square footage. This creates a more direct comparison than looking at the asking price only.

What Amenities Exist?

Having amenities, like living in a gated community, having a pool onsite or a community gym you can use can save you money and time over the years that you live in the home. It can also add to your overall enjoyment level and wellness. If one of the properties you are considering does not include any amenities, consider the additional costs you may have to take on to access these amenities elsewhere, or add them to your property.

What Will Your Commute Look Like?

This is an important consideration for anyone living in Central Florida, because a long daily commute can make you hate your home. In addition to considering how long it will take to get to work, also consider other locations you go to often in your current life, including homes of close family and friends, favorite spots for hanging out or schools and activities for your children. Moving far away from the area where these things take place can make your life more difficult and expensive, so consider this as you look at new homes.

Possible Appreciation in Value

While it can be hard to predict how much a neighborhood will appreciate in value, you can do research to try and find out if property values in the area are expected to go up. New residential and commercial developments, road work to make improvements in the area and other outside factors can increase the value of a particular neighborhood, so you can reasonably expect to see your values go up if you purchase near an area that is growing. If yu purchase in an older neighborhood, you may have to spend a few more years in the home to see the value go up.

If you’re ready to start shopping for your first home, the Core Group can help. Click here to get the process started.