Becoming a first-time homeowner is one of the most exciting experiences one will have in their lifetime. However, as the housing market becomes more competitive and prices increase, the dream of having a place to call your own seems to drift further away. Many find it challenging to take the first step toward buying a property—especially millennials who have difficulty affording a home with increasing debts and a difficult market. A first time home buyer has to navigate the process of budgeting, home maintenance and paying mortgages.

This article includes expert tips on affordable homeownership. Actionable tips and budgeting strategies can prepare people for their down payment, their mortgage, or to save on utility bills.

How to find your first home

The first step is to search for an affordable home. Start by clearly defining your budget and distinguishing between needs and wants. While that charming extra bedroom may be tempting, prioritizing your essential requirements can help you find a place quickly. Explore diverse neighborhoods and consider up-and-coming areas where property values remain within reach. Seek advice from real estate professionals who can provide insights into emerging trends and potential bargains. 

When choosing a home, how can newlyweds plan for potential future changes, such as an expanding family?

“It all starts with communication to get on the same page. Discuss your current needs. Is it important to be close to work? Close to family? Will you require a home office? Do you see this as a “starter home” with plans to move to a larger place? If so, when?

And then assess your future needs. Do you plan to have children? How many? Consider researching and evaluating school districts now – the time for starting school will arrive sooner than you think! What kind of neighborhood or community resources and amenities do you want? A neighborhood pool? A fenced-in back yard? A level driveway for a basketball hoop?

If you plan on living in this house for the long haul, prioritize flexible spaces that can evolve with your changing needs. A bonus room or finished basement could be transformed into a nursery, playroom, or home office.

And finally, evaluate the financial implications. Ensure that the mortgage and other expenses are manageable, considering potential changes in income due to parental leave or childcare expenses.

Once you have a clearer vision of your short and long-term goals, consult a real estate agent and a financial advisor who can help determine how much house you can afford based on current and future earning potential. They can help you navigate the market and find a home that meets your current needs while allowing for future growth.”

Priscilla Hunt from Better Marriages

How can people identify affordable neighborhoods or areas that align with their budget constraints?

“When looking for affordable neighborhoods that match your budget, there are a few smart approaches to consider. Start by diving into online platforms to research local housing markets and check property prices and rental rates. Use budgeting tools to determine a realistic housing budget based on income and expenses. Don’t forget to factor in essential elements like commute distance, amenities, and safety.

Connect with local real estate agents—they’re a goldmine of insights on affordable areas and up-and-coming neighborhoods. Attend open houses and take the time to explore different communities, assessing their affordability and whether they meet your needs.

Keep an eye on neighborhoods undergoing revitalization or gentrification—they might offer affordability now and potential value growth in the future. Take advantage of community resources such as housing assistance programs, government initiatives, and nonprofit organizations that provide housing counseling and financial aid.

Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who might be familiar with the areas you are searching in. During your search, thoroughly inspect neighborhoods, considering factors like property taxes, utility costs, and access to public services. Compare the overall cost of living to ensure it aligns with your financial capabilities.

By following these steps, you can pinpoint neighborhoods that not only fit your budget but also cater to your essential living needs.”

Wes Johnston, Realtor at Trueblood Real Estate

What are effective strategies for negotiating the purchase price of an upper-fix home to account for necessary repairs and upgrades?

“In the realm of real estate investments, negotiating the purchase price of a “fixer-upper” home requires a nuanced and strategic approach, and at Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty (AHSIR), our expertise seamlessly guides clients through this process.

A key strategy, emphasized by our seasoned experts, involves conducting a thorough inspection to identify necessary repairs and upgrades. Armed with this knowledge, strategically leverage it during negotiations to justify a lower purchase price. Our advice centers on prioritizing essential repairs over cosmetic upgrades, focusing on aspects that significantly impact the property’s value.

In our current semi-balanced, seller-leaning market, AHSIR excels in providing tailored strategies. Position yourself as a committed buyer by showcasing pre-approval for financing and a flexible closing timeline, appealing to sellers seeking a seamless transaction. Prioritize communication and build rapport, as a personalized approach fosters more cooperative negotiations.

Timing is pivotal in recognizing the market’s inclination. Engage in negotiations during periods of reduced competition or off-peak seasons to maximize leverage. Additionally, consider obtaining multiple quotes for repair costs to bolster your negotiating position.

At AHSIR, our commitment is to empower investors with knowledge, ensuring wise and strategic real estate investments. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a first-time buyer, trust us to navigate the complexities of negotiating upper-fix homes, turning challenges into opportunities for substantial returns. Our tailored strategies reflect our dedication to securing successful and lucrative transactions for our clients.”

Amanda Howard, CEO at Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty

What types of renovations are commonly needed in upper-fix homes, and how can a buyer estimate the associated costs?

“When getting your home ready to hit the market, going all out on major renovations isn’t always the move. Truth be told, it’s rare for big upgrades to pay for themselves when it’s time to sell. 

However, one simple makeover can transform your space and give you a return on your investment: a fresh coat of paint. It’s all about making potential buyers feel like they can move right in without picking up a paintbrush. Choosing the right colors is key – stick to neutral tones that provide a blank canvas for any decor style. And if your home sports any bold or niche color choices, now’s the time to tone them down.

For crucial spaces like the kitchen and bathroom, think refresh over remodel. A splash of paint on the cabinets or swapping out old hardware can modernize the space without breaking the bank.

And let’s not forget about those all-important fixes – from dripping taps to squeaky doors and beyond. Tidying up these small annoyances can make a big difference, preventing buyers from feeling swamped with to-dos. If your roof or HVAC system is on its last legs, addressing these issues might be worth your while.

Before diving into pre-sale prep, chatting with a local REALTOR® can be incredibly insightful. They’ll help you pinpoint exactly where your efforts will have the most impact, ensuring you get the best return on your investment of time and energy.”

Kevin Vital, Haverhill MA REALTOR

Renovation Priorities for First-Time Buyers with Fixer-Uppers

“When you’re a first-time homeowner looking to fixer-uppers can be overwhelming, knowing where to start with renovations can really help calm the overwhelm and fascination, both for your livability and when it eventually comes time to sell. It’s smart to tackle the major systems first – think the structural work,along with the roof, plumbing, and electrical work. These aren’t the most glamorous projects, but they’re key for making your home safe and ready for the fun updates.

Next up, think about the rooms where you spend the most time and that future potential owners will be eyeing closely: the kitchen and bathrooms. Updating these areas can make your home a lot more comfortable and functional while you’re living there and can also be a big selling point later on down the road.

For those looking into how to fund these projects, the FHA 203K and Homestyle conventional remodel loans are definitely worth checking out. The FHA 203K is a handy option for those looking to buy and renovate with just one loan, covering both the purchase and repair costs. The Homestyle loan, meanwhile, has more flexibility, accommodating for renovations of all types, including those luxury touches you might be dreaming of.

In sum, focusing on critical repairs first and then upgrading key living spaces can make your fixer-upper project both more satisfying and financially savvy. And with loan options like FHA 203K and Homestyle, you’ve got some solid paths to fund your home makeover.”

J Michael Manley from Livian Estates

Budgeting tips

Buying your first home requires a sound financial plan. To afford a nice place, keep an eye on government initiatives or first-time homebuyer programs that may offer financial assistance. Your financial plan should account for the down payment, mortgage, and ongoing homeownership costs like property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Set aside a dedicated fund for unforeseen expenses and emergencies.

Tips from the experts

How can a first-time homebuyer navigate the process of securing a mortgage that fits within their budget?

“Securing a mortgage as a first-time homebuyer starts with understanding what you can afford and obtaining a mortgage pre-approval. Begin by evaluating your financial situation, including your credit score, existing monthly debt payments, and savings for a down payment and closing expenses. This initial step is crucial for determining your affordability range.

The pre-approval process is a key element where your lender will assess your financial details to provide a conditional commitment for a specific loan amount based on your financial situation. This gives you a clear idea of your budget and positions you as a serious buyer in the eyes of sellers. To get pre-approved, you’ll need to submit financial documents to your lender, who will then evaluate your ability to repay a loan.

It’s important during this phase to stay realistic about what you can afford. Ensure the potential mortgage payment fits comfortably within your budget, allowing for other expenses and savings. Focusing on the pre-approval process and understanding your affordability upfront will streamline your homebuying journey, making it easier to find a home that meets your financial and lifestyle needs.”

Lindsey Hansen, Marketing Director at JVM Lending

Are there potential hidden costs associated with homeownership that first-time buyers should be aware of when budgeting?

“Yes, there are several potential hidden costs associated with homeownership that first-time buyers should be aware of when budgeting. Some of these costs may include:

  1. Property taxes: Property taxes can vary significantly depending on the location of the property and its assessed value. It’s important for first-time buyers to budget for these ongoing costs.
  2. Homeowners association (HOA) fees: If the property is located in a community with an HOA, there may be monthly or annual fees associated with maintaining common areas and amenities.
  3. Home maintenance and repairs: Owning a home means being responsible for maintenance and repairs. Budgeting for regular upkeep, as well as unexpected repairs, is essential.
  4. Homeowners insurance: Homeowners insurance is necessary to protect your investment in case of damage or loss. The cost of insurance can vary based on factors like location, the value of the home, and the coverage options selected.
  5. Utilities: In addition to the mortgage payment, homeowners will need to budget for utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and trash removal.
  6. Closing costs: When purchasing a home, there are various closing costs involved, including appraisal fees, title insurance, and loan origination fees. These costs can add up and should be factored into the budget.
  7. Home improvement projects: Many homeowners want to personalize their space or make upgrades over time. Budgeting for home improvement projects is important for maintaining and enhancing the value of the property.

By considering these potential hidden costs and factoring them into their budget, first-time buyers can better prepare for the financial responsibilities of homeownership and avoid any surprises down the road.”

Millie King Weaver from Lake Cumberland Real Estate Professionals

Common mistakes to avoid when budgeting for mortgage payments

“It’s important for potential homeowners to remember it is likely that only the principal and interest portion of their monthly payment won’t change from time to time. The other components — taxes, insurance costs, HOA fees, or dues — will likely increase over time. This means monthly payments will rise, and when they do will also trigger the need to add more funds to replenish escrow accounts. This can mean an unexpected out-of-pocket expenditure and an increase in regular monthly payments, and these need to be planned for and budgeted accordingly.

Rather than focusing strictly on the monthly mortgage payment, it can be a good idea to consider a broader approach to budgeting, incorporating all necessary recurring household costs as a whole. In addition to the Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance, and Association fees (aka “PITIA”), this would include costs for water, sewer, trash collection, and similar required expenditures. Couple these with your required mortgage payment, and round this figure up to the nearest hundred-dollar increment to allow for some leeway. This can help offset or even eliminate the impact of surprise increases or changes in costs, which may upend your budget.”

Keith Gumbinger, Vice President at

Common mistakes to avoid when budgeting for both mortgage payments and home maintenance expenses

“A significant mistake is not setting aside enough money for ongoing home maintenance. For most clients, I recommend putting aside 1-2 percent of the home purchase price each year for potential projects.

For disciplinary purposes, it is good to create a bank account for this sole purpose. The account can fund such things as a new roof, updating HVAC systems, new appliances, a water heater replacement, and other general tasks like cleaning the gutters.

New homes can likely get away with closer to 1 percent, with older homes 2 percent or more. If you have purchased an older home or antique, you may want to increase your budget even further.

Vintage homes tend to have constant maintenance issues due to their age. It is essential to modify your budget year to year. For example, if you just replaced the roof and AC system, those are significant expenses that are now off the table.

You can take those funds and invest them elsewhere or create an emergency fund for other unplanned expenses.”

Bill Gassett, Real Estate Authority at Maximum Real Estate Exposure

What factors should first-time homebuyers consider when determining the type of mortgage that best suits their financial situation?

“Firstly, they should assess their current financial status, including their income and savings. And, work with a mortgage professional to establish their debt-to-income ratio. This will help them understand how much they can afford to borrow. It’s also crucial to consider future income prospects. If they expect their income to increase significantly in the future, they might opt for a higher payment than what their current rent is or stretch their comfort level a little bit.

Secondly, they should consider how long they plan to stay in the home. A fixed-rate mortgage, where the interest rate remains unchanged throughout the loan term, might be a better choice for those planning to stay in the home for a long time. On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be more suitable for those who plan to sell or refinance before the rate adjusts.

Additionally, reviewing potential first-time homebuyer programs and down payment assistance options with a mortgage professional can provide valuable support. These programs can help alleviate financial burdens and facilitate the path to homeownership.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that purchasing a home is a significant financial decision, and it can be beneficial to have a team of professionals working for you. Contacting a trusted advisor can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. They can help you navigate the complexities of the mortgage process and make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.

In conclusion, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Each buyer’s situation is unique, and they should weigh these factors carefully before making a decision.”

Jo Ann Theriault-Fazio from Proper Rate LLC.

Strategies for saving up for a down payment on a home, especially for those on a tight budget

“We recommend these tips to save for a down payment.

Pay Off High-Interest Debt

The “debt avalanche” system is a good way to get out of debt faster and save money on interest. Target your debt with the highest interest rate first, and pay it off. Then move on to reducing the debt with the second-highest interest rate and so on. This gets rid of your high-interest debt first, which will lower your monthly payments and give you room to attack the rest.

Consolidate and Refinance Existing Debt

If you have numerous debt obligations, consider consolidating and refinancing your debt. First, consolidate multiple loans into one loan payment. Then, refinance that loan at a new, lower interest rate. This simplifies your payments, leaving you with just one combined obligation.

Stick to a Cash Envelope Budget

Many financial experts recommend sticking to a cash envelope budget. Set a monthly budget, and then create envelopes for each budget category. When you get paid, put the budgeted amount of cash in each envelope. Money that is left can be saved or applied towards debt. 

52-Week Money Challenge

If you are struggling to save, try the 52-Week Money Challenge. It’s a savings challenge that starts by putting away just a few dollars a week. At the end of the first week, set aside $1 in a jar. The next week, set aside $2, then $3. You get the idea. By the end of the challenge, you will have saved $1,400.”

Michael Wilt from Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation

How can a budget be adapted to accommodate unexpected expenses without derailing financial plans?

“It depends on what type of unexpected expense occurs. If it’s a major expense like a $10,000 Medical bill, then that becomes a debt and is included in your financial plan.

For smaller expenses, you should have a “buffer” in your budget.  For example, we have FitBUX members allocate money to 3 categories.  Once completed, members have a leftover amount we call “Available Funds.” Let’s say you do this exercise, and your available funds are $1,000 a month. You should allocate $500 – $750 to your top goal. Then, have a $250 – $500 buffer just in case you have an unexpected expense. If you don’t have an unexpected expense, great… put more money that month into your #1 goal.”  

Joseph Reinke, CFA, CEO at FitBUX, Inc.

Tricks for a first time home buyer

When starting the process of homeownership, make sure you are fully informed.

  • Be thorough in your research to make informed decisions on market trends and property values.
  • Clearly outline your non-negotiables versus nice-to-haves. This helps to focus on properties that align with your essential needs, preventing unnecessary spending.
  • Improve your negotiation skills. In real estate, it’s not just about the initial price but also about terms and conditions. Be prepared to negotiate for the best deal possible.
  • Invest in a thorough home inspection. It might seem like an added expense, but it can uncover potential issues that could save you significant money and headaches in the long run.
  • Consider the potential resale value of the property, the neighborhood’s growth prospects, and any upcoming developments that might impact the area positively.
  • Keep records of all transactions, contracts, and maintenance activities related to your property. 

Most importantly, be patient, as rushed decisions can lead to regrets. Especially as a first time home buyer, take your time, explore different options, and wait for the right opportunity. 

Tips from the experts

Are there specific red flags that first-time buyers should be aware of when searching for a home?

“It’s never too early to think about long-term accessibility options when considering a home purchase. Homes with multiple flights of stairs for example, may become difficult or impossible to navigate if you experience an injury, or mobility becomes difficult in the future. Stairs can also make it difficult for friends or relatives with limited mobility to feel comfortable as a guest in your home.  

Consider future-proofing your new home by planning for a home elevator or stair lift. Stair lifts are a construction-free accessibility lift that attach directly to your existing stair treads. A stair lift can be installed indoors or outdoors, and can be configured for a straight set of stairs, stairs with a landing, or stairs that curve. Home elevators can be fully customized to be as unique as your future home. They offer a practical and stylish addition to any home ensuring that your space is safe and accessible for everyone.

If you’re building a new home, you can add a shaftway, designating a location for a future elevator. If you’re purchasing an existing home, be sure to consult a reputable accessibility lift expert in your area.”

Liz Riggleman from Arrow Lift

What are common challenges faced by first-time homebuyers, and how can they be overcome?

“Have a successful house-hunting experience by overlooking flashy staging and not being discouraged by minor deficiencies.

Consider your first home as a stepping stone to your Forever Home. Finding a property that needs a bit of TLC means more opportunities to increase the return on your investment. Unpleasant smells, minor damage, and undesirable finishes are often easy to remedy. If you’re able to see past these things, you’ll find great opportunities where others fail to.

Equally important, look past the staging. We spend well into six figures staging our properties each year because houses that look the nicest, sell for more money. A nicely staged home will appeal to more people. It’s much easier to envision yourself living in and enjoying the space, but it can also take your eyes away from important factors such as the size, function, and the condition. It can even make you forget about a questionable neighbourhood, a cracked foundation, and other shortcomings.

To sum it up, be open-minded. Trust in your real estate agent’s guidance, and consider this a short-term purchase en route to your long-term home ownership goals.”‘

Adrian Trott from Kormendy Trott

What considerations should be taken into account when selecting materials and finishes for your first home?

“When selecting materials and finishes for your first home, several considerations can shape your choices and ensure satisfaction with the final result. Firstly, budgetary constraints play a significant role, as they dictate the range of options available. It’s essential to find a balance between quality and affordability. As an example, you may want to prioritize durable materials for high-traffic areas while being mindful of cost-effective alternatives for less utilized spaces. If you’re building a new home, choose a builder who has standard features that suit your preferences. This will allow you to stretch your budget further.

The second factor that should influence your decisions is lifestyle. Consider factors such as maintenance requirements, especially if you have pets or young children. Opting for easy-to-clean surfaces and stain-resistant materials can save you time and effort in the long run. Think about your long-term plans for the home. Will you be staying for many years, or is this a starter home? While it’s important to choose elements that suit your personal taste and lifestyle, selecting neutral options with a broader appeal can increase the marketability of your home in the future.

The last aspect to consider is what updates can be tackled later. Structural changes after construction is completed can be cumbersome and costly, making them a high priority during the initial planning stages. Conversely, finishes like lighting, hardware, and flooring offer more flexibility for future upgrades, allowing them to be less of a priority during the initial selection process.”

Kari Montoya from Adair Homes

What are some key considerations when determining a realistic budget for your first home purchase?” 

“Stepping into the world of owning your own home is a big deal, and getting your budget just right for that first big buy is super important. With my finance background and a whole lot of know-how in loans and managing money, I want to share some key tips to think about.

First up, take a really good look at your money situation. How much you’re making, what you’ve saved, any debts hanging over you, and how good your credit score looks are all super important. They’re the foundation for figuring out what you can actually afford without biting off more than you can chew. It’s all about knowing what you’re comfortable with for a down payment and your monthly house payment.

Then, there’s the extra stuff that comes with buying a house that you might not think about at first. Things like closing costs, paying for home insurance, property taxes, and keeping up with repairs and maintenance. These costs can sneak up on you, and they really add up, affecting how much house you can afford.

Choosing the right mortgage is a big decision too. There’s a lot to consider, like the interest rate, how long the loan is for, and whether the interest rate stays the same or can change. This decision is going to impact your monthly payments and how much you end up paying back in the long run.

It’s also smart to think about what’s ahead for you. How stable is your job? Do you see yourself making more money down the line, or are there big life changes coming that could make it tough to keep up with mortgage payments? It’s just as important to plan for the future as it is to manage your current expenses.

And don’t forget to have a little extra tucked away for those just-in-case moments. Owning a home means sometimes things come up unexpectedly, and having a safety net in your budget can really save the day, keeping your investment and your peace of mind secure.

Keeping all these things in mind as you go through the process of buying your first home will help lay down a strong foundation for your financial health and happiness with your new place.”

Jim Hughes from OpenCashAdvance

How to protect your investment

Even after buying your home, you need to make sound financial decisions. Home repairs and replacements can range from minor fixes to major overhauls. Typical expenses include fixing plumbing issues, repairing roofing, replacing HVAC systems, or addressing electrical problems. Home warranties offer a potential solution to mitigate unexpected repair costs. These warranties typically cover repairing or replacing major home systems and appliances. The pricing of home warranties varies based on coverage levels and providers. When selecting your home warranty, carefully review the terms, coverage limitations, and exclusions.

Advice for first-time homeowners on regular inspection and upkeep of their home systems and appliances

“We always encourage all buyers (but especially first time home buyers) to do an inspection before buying a home! This is not only beneficial during the inspection contingency but is also a great road map for new home owners. I recommend that home owners use their inspection report as a to do list going forward and a way to keep track of the life span of their appliances and systems! For example if the inspection report says your hot water heater is 8 years old the home owner will want to plan on replacing it within a couple years knowing the life span of a hot water heater is only about ten years! Keeping on top of regular maintenance and replacements will save time and money down the road!”

Hannah Wilson-Hillard, Team Diva Real Estate

Are there potential hidden costs associated with homeownership that first-time buyers should be aware of when budgeting?

“The #1 place I see many newly minted homeowners miss the mark when budgeting for homeownership is the cost of maintenance and repairs. It stands to reason; if you’ve not owned a home before, how would you know what it costs to maintain a home? But you’ve just made a huge financial investment, and part of protecting it is maintaining it well.

Plan on setting aside 1% to 3% of the purchase price to cover annual maintenance. Calibrate your savings based on the age and condition of your home. If you purchased a brand new home, 1% might be plenty. But if your home is older or you bought a fixer-upper, 3% or more may be a more realistic goal.

A great way to get a handle on this part of your future budget as a homeowner is using your home inspection. It can be a great, invaluable tool for getting to know your new home, its quirks, and its needs.

Look around your new home and make a list of all the things that will need to be fixed or replaced someday. Then check your home inspection, do a little research online, and figure out 1) how much longer each thing will last and 2) what it will cost to replace.

Let’s say your fridge is nearly new, and it would cost $1500 to replace it. Refrigerators last 15 years on average, so you need to set aside $100 a year to replace them. Allowing for inflation, maybe set aside $10/mo for your future new fridge. Keep going with your furnace, roof, paint, other appliances, and so on. Now you know how much to set aside for.

Consider purchasing a home warranty – or better yet, ask your seller to purchase a home warranty. Standard home warranties cost $500 to $1000 a year and cover all the major systems in your new home. If a big-ticket item like your furnace or air conditioning goes out, you pay a service fee and the home warranty company hires a contractor to make the repair. You can even buy plans that cover appliances.”

Julee Felsman, Loan Officer at Guaranteed Rate

“Forget about cosmetic issues. Plumbing, wiring, and problems not visible to the naked eye are of greater importance. It is worth the effort and additional cost to hire unbiased inspectors who can give proper, professional insight, which you can relay to your realtor to negotiate accordingly.”

Jenna Gleespen, Manager Editor of Money at Wealth of Geeks

After buying your home

As a first time home buyer, you’ve spent a significant amount on your property and you might want to find ways to reduce current and future expenses. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Invest in comprehensive homeowners insurance. Ensure the policy adequately covers potential risks such as natural disasters, theft, and liability issues. Regularly review and update your coverage as needed.
  • Maintain a robust emergency fund. Unexpected expenses can arise, whether a sudden repair or a temporary loss of income. 
  • Stay proactive with home maintenance. Regularly inspect and address any issues promptly to prevent them from escalating into more significant problems. 
  • Find ways to reduce household expenses, such as utility bills, groceries, entertainment, and high-interest debts.

What are common challenges new homeowners might face in maintaining their landscaping, and how can they address these challenges proactively?

“There is so much for new homeowners to learn about their house when they first purchase and there is even more to learn about their yard. Landscaping is oftentimes put on the backburner for new homeowners with so many other projects to focus on within the home, however in addition to weeding and mulching to maintain an aesthetic curb appeal there are a number of things a new homeowner should pay attention to within the first few weeks of residing in their new home. One of the main challenges a new homeowner could face is drainage issues. Paying attention to where the water goes after a storm is crucial, if proper drainage systems are not present in a yard it can cause major problems not only outdoors, but indoors as well.  Other challenges relevant to landscaping are the plants, bushes, trees present on the property, understanding the maintenance they need and also some of the pests that may come with. Oftentimes new homeowners that inherit a pond in their landscape are at a complete loss if they are not already hobbyists themselves. At Fitz’s Fish ponds, we often get phone calls only after something goes wrong with a pond a new homeowner has, whether there is algae build up and the pond is green or an invasive species appears in the pond or fish have unfortunately died due to lack of proper pond care. 

While hiring a landscaping company or pond company to help a new homeowner fix problems they encounter is often the first solution, it is important to select a company that educates them along the way. If a new homeowner wants to attempt to learn and do it all themselves, joining garden clubs to seek guidance inally, researching and embracing sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting reduces reliance on municipal water sources also fosters eco-friendliness. By adopting these proactive measures, new homeowners can navigate landscaping challenges effectively, ensuring their outdoor spaces thrive harmoniously, including the ponds that enhance their landscape’s beauty.”

Lauren Nolan from Fitz’s Fish Ponds


While buying your first home might seem complicated, it’s possible with the right advice and strategy. Start by searching for an affordable property, budgeting, and seeking professional advice on buying a home. As a homeowner, the journey doesn’t end with the purchase. Think about home maintenance, improvements, and reducing your monthly bills. With these tips a first time home buyer can get a head start in the real estate market.