High Expectations On Your First Home?


Embarking on the journey of purchasing your first home is an exciting experience. As you envision your dream space, it's natural to dream big, and let's face it, HGTV hasn't really set the best expectations. However, it's important to keep in mind that your first home likely won't be your forever home.

Try not to set your expectations too high, and focus on finding a home that meets your CURRENT needs and budget. By doing so, you'll be able to build equity and work towards your long-term goals.

Did you know that 47% of homeowners live in their homes between 6-10 years on average, with first-time homebuyers living in their starter homes for just 5-7 years?

Unfortunately, you may not get that gorgeous white kitchen with marble countertops, or wide plank hardwood floors, but you can create a home that is YOURS, and update it over time. Focus on the things you can't change instead of the cosmetics of a home, such as location, size, yard space, and layout.

If you've been postponing your homebuying journey in hopes of affording your dream home, why not consider starting with a starter home? By purchasing a more modest home initially, you can begin building your own equity instead of continuing to pay someone else's mortgage. It's a stepping stone toward your ultimate homeownership goals!

In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of setting high standards for your first home.

The Pros of Having High Expectations

  1. A Dream Home Come True: By setting high expectations, you increase the chances of finding a home that truly meets your desires and needs. Your first home is an opportunity to create the living space you've always envisioned, from the layout to the design and amenities.

  2. Long-Term Satisfaction: Purchasing a home is a long-term commitment. By aiming high, you ensure that you won't outgrow your home too quickly. Having high expectations can help you find a home that accommodates your current lifestyle and provides room for growth in the future.

  3. Resale Value: A home that meets your high standards is likely to hold its value better over time. In case you decide to sell it later, you will have a better chance of recouping your investment or even making a profit.

  4. Enhanced Comfort and Happiness: A home that aligns with your expectations will bring you comfort and happiness. It can become a sanctuary where you can relax and enjoy your personal space. Having a home that meets your desires can positively impact your overall well-being.

The Cons of Having High Expectations

  1. Budget Constraints: High expectations often come with a higher price tag. Setting unrealistic standards for your first home may lead to financial strain or prevent you from getting on the property ladder altogether. It's essential to balance your desires with your budget to avoid overextending yourself.

  2. Limited Options: Having high expectations can limit the number of homes available within your preferred budget and location. You might need to compromise on certain features or consider alternative neighborhoods to find a suitable home.

  3. Time Constraints: The process of finding a home that meets your high standards may take longer than expected. This extended search period can delay your plans and put additional stress on your finances and personal life.

  4. Unrealistic Perfection: It's important to acknowledge that no home is entirely perfect. Setting extremely high expectations may lead to disappointment and unrealistic demands that no property can meet. Being flexible and open-minded can help you find a home that meets most of your requirements.

Finding a Balance

While it's good to have high expectations for your first home, it's crucial to find a balance between your desires and practicality. Consider the following tips to help you strike that balance:

  1. Prioritize: Identify the features and amenities that are non-negotiable for you. This will help you focus your search and make informed decisions.

  2. Set a Realistic Budget: Determine your budget before you start looking for a home. Be sure to consider your income, savings, and potential future expenses. This will help you narrow down your options and prevent financial strain.

  3. Be Open-Minded: Keep an open mind during the home search process. Sometimes, a property may not meet all your expectations initially, but with some creativity and modifications, it can become your dream home.

  4. Consult Professionals: Seek advice from real estate agents, mortgage brokers, or other professionals in the field. They can provide valuable insights and help manage your expectations based on your budget and local market conditions.


Having high expectations for your first home can be both a blessing and a challenge. While aiming high allows you to find a home that meets your desiresand brings long-term satisfaction, it's essential to be mindful of the potential drawbacks. Budget constraints, limited options, and the risk of unrealistic perfection are all factors to consider.

Finding a balance between your expectations and practicality is key. Prioritize your non-negotiable features, set a realistic budget, and keep an open mind during the home search process. Consulting with professionals can also provide valuable guidance.

Remember that your first home is just the beginning of your homeownership journey. It's an opportunity to create a comfortable and happy living space, but it doesn't have to be perfect. With a balanced approach, you can find a home that meets most of your expectations while ensuring long-term financial stability and personal satisfaction.

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