When people think about buying their first home, they are likely to have an extensive list of wants, including everything from what type of appliances they want to the size of their yard. However, due to budget constraints or inventory, most first-time homebuyers will need to make decisions about what is most important to them. There are major trade-offs to consider, and cosmetic preferences should generally be secondary to choosing a home in a good neighborhood or that is close to someone’s work. While wood flooring may be desirable, it is not likely to make up for an additional 20 minute commute.

Location is likely to be one of the issues that will require people to spend some time considering. Younger homebuyers generally want to live closer to urban areas, where housing costs tend to be higher, and homes are generally smaller. By living in more-suburban areas, homebuyers have a better chance of getting a larger home with a larger yard for a lower price, something that is very attractive to individuals with children. Experts recommend that people plan to live for at least five years in a home and to plan their lives and expectations accordingly.

According to the results of a survey completed by the National Association of Realtors, the median age of first-time homebuyers was 31, and the median home size purchased was 1,570 square feet. Three-quarters of those surveyed purchased a single-family home, 10 percent chose a townhouse and another 10 percent bought a condo.

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