real estate

5 major must-haves for a fab first home

Recent updates in key areas of the home
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First-time homebuyers on a limited budget may not get a home that's a totally finished product in terms of recent updates and features. If you have to choose, Shuman says, make sure you prioritize updates to the following.

  • Energy-efficient windows.
  • Updated electrical wiring with sufficient outlets.
  • A new roof.
  • A new water heater.

"When a lot of folks go into a starter home, they don't want to have to put a lot of money into it because they know it's not their home for life," Shuman says. "If you look at what the big budget items are that may come up during the next seven to 10 years and know that you're in good shape on some of those, that's definitely part of the checklist."

MacDonald says there also are some rooms in a prospective first home where recent renovations are more valuable in terms of resale value.

"Bathrooms and kitchens are the most important pieces of the puzzle when buying a house," MacDonald says. "If they have those renovated, or if the house is new or been updated by the previous owner, those are things that give it the most attraction when you go to sell your house later."




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