Everything in life comes with a learning curve. Maybe you’re starting a business, starting a new job, purchasing a car, or learning to play the piano. Unless you’re a prodigy, you likely won’t be able to sit down at the piano and play Mozart on day one. Normal people have learning curves, and that’s completely, well... normal.

Today, we’re talking about purchasing your first home – and from our extensive experience, there’s a learning curve involved in this massive undertaking. There are a number of things to remember before crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s for your mortgage. From finding the right location to considering any renovations – taking these eight points into consideration prior to purchasing your first home will help keep you better informed and a more confident buyer when you ultimately pull the trigger on your new residence.

1. Don't commit before you're ready.

Committing to purchase a home is a big responsibility and it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before agreeing to purchase the property. Taking the time to know all the costs will help you decide if you’re ready for a commitment of this size.

In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, calculate how much you’ll be paying for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowner's association fees and other monthly costs of owning a home. Factor in costs for planned and unexpected maintenance repairs too. These are all things that can easily be overlooked when you’re trying to decide on a property.

2. Location is important

Before looking at specific properties, start with deciding on an area in town. From the proximity to major roads and highways to grocery stores and entertainment, location plays a big role in the value of a home.

Even if you don’t have kids, it's important to check out a neighborhood’s school district – living in an area with a great school or school system will help keep the value of your property, even if you're not a parent, the people looking to buy your house down the road might be.

3. Know the building plans for your neighborhood

Another thing to keep in mind when looking for the area to purchase in is the area’s future construction plans. Completing due diligence on future development projects in the area is key, as development projects can change the value and living experience of your home significantly.

Development projects can change the enjoyment of living in a home too. For example – an empty lot next to a home that the city plans to build a parking garage on could potentially drive away future buyers when you eventually sell your home in the future. You’ll want to be aware of those development plans to make an informed decision prior to purchasing.