A couple writing something down on a piece of paper on top of a box for their move to a new home in Scottsdale

Out of all milestones in life, buying a home for the first time is a significant one. We are talking about a substantial investment that will change every aspect of your life. But you must remember that the mistakes you make throughout this process may cost you considerably. Therefore, you must be thorough, take care of every detail, and even consult a Scottsdale real estate agent. Here's a must-have checklist for first-time home buyers to ensure that you find a property that is perfect for you and your lifestyle.

The first item on the checklist for first-time home buyers is – the budget

Under no circumstances should you start looking for a property before you decide on your budget. Firstly, you may end up very disappointed if you realize all the homes you were researching are outside your actual financial capabilities. That is not the right way to do this. Buying your first home should be a positive experience, not something shadowed by disappointment. Also, it is easy to ruin your future by indebting yourself too much.

If you do not have the funds of your own but need a loan, don't just assume you can get one. These are serious matters, and you need to inform yourself thoroughly. Make sure you are eligible for the loan you want; if not, find the lender or a program that will provide you with the money at terms that suit you best. Always inspect all loan options out there before you make your final decision.

A calculator on top of a paper with cost analysis on it.
One of the essential items on the checklist for first-time home buyers is deciding on the budget size.

Decide whether you want to live in a house or an attached condo, duplex, or townhouse

There are many arguments for why it is better to live in a flat as opposed to a house - and vice versa. The choice between the two depends on the person's lifestyle. But it is crucial to make that choice before you call the real estate agent. The experts from Triple 7 Movers Las Vegas say that deciding what kind of property you are interested in before calling the agent saves a significant amount of time many people otherwise waste. The market can be quite plentiful, and narrowing down the search sooner rather than later is helpful. If you are uncertain, list the Pros & Cons of both options. The funny thing is that once they start compiling this list, many people realize what they want, even before analyzing the results.

Choose the potential areas to move to

Speaking of agents, one of the items a first-time home buyer should do is make a list of questions for the real estate agent. All those questions should help you decide whether the area where your potential home is, is the appropriate spot for you to live in. Think of schools, sports and recreation centers, and shopping malls. Consider what it is that you will want to be able to reach on foot and what is ok for you to be a bit further away. Consider what your priorities are. If your life is more family-oriented, and you need a more peaceful area with parks where kids can play, make sure you focus on such neighborhoods when viewing properties.

On the other hand, if you prefer life at a faster pace and don't mind the hustle and bustle of the city jungle, look for flats or houses in such areas. Simply put, narrow your search before you even start. That way, you will focus more on what works for you and avoid realizing that a particular area was not for you too late when you already bought it.

Inspect the property for potential problems that could cost you in the future

When you start viewing the properties, there are several aspects you need to check. The point is to buy a property that is structurally in good condition, and that will not require you to make capital investments in the future. Here is what you should focus on:

  • Plumbing. The problems with plumbing can cause numerous costly damages.
  • Electrics. The property's wiring and other electrical elements need to be in good condition. You don't want to risk a fire or electric shock.
  • Roof. A bad roof needs replacing in the near future, and that is very expensive.
  • Insulation. A house is not energy efficient without proper insulation, which means higher heating and electricity bills.
  • Septic system. Not only will an inadequate septic system need repairing, which means spending cash, but it will smell horrible too.
  • Pests. These nasty little things can damage your furniture, and they are pretty hard to get rid of.

If this is not your area of expertise, it would be a good idea to bring someone with you who knows a thing or two about these issues. The investment a home buyer makes is a big one, and some good-quality advice is welcome in that situation.

A checklist for first-time Scottsdale home buyers that focuses on home inspection.
Make sure you inspect each property’s condition from a technical point of view.

Set a date and method of your relocation

Once you decide on the property and start with the paperwork, the next step is to decide on a timeline of future events. You must choose a moving date in advance because the relocation requires particular logistics. If you intend to relocate independently, you will need a few days off work. It's a lengthy process. You would probably need some help with the furniture and everything, and you will need a vehicle that can carry all that. If you intend to ask friends to help you, set a date. It is the only way to ensure they are free to come and assist you. Should you choose to hire a moving company, that would require some time to organize everything. And you will need to be present when the movers arrive with your stuff. So, again, you'll have to notify your coworkers you will be absent on a particular date.

A man covered with boxes from his move to a new Scottsdale home.
Setting a moving date and deciding how you will carry out the move is important since that is also a complex process that takes organizing.


Purchasing your first property is a wonderful event, but the complexity of it can easily cost you. Nevertheless, with this checklist for first-time home buyers, you can make sure you are buying the property that is perfect for you. Careful planning, inspection, and research are all it takes to find the home you have always dreamed of.

guest writer Amanda MillerAmanda Miller is an experienced financial specialist that focuses on helping people make prudent decisions when it comes to real estate investments. Her pieces of advice have helped people avoid making mistakes that can cost them in the future.

Posted by Amanda Miller on
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