Let’s be real – buying your first home can be terrifying. It’s one of the biggest investments most people make in their lives, and taking the leap involves a lot of decision-making about the future. As with any big decision in life, it’s nice to have guidance. Randy Sebastian, Portland native and owner of the longest established home building company in the Portland area, Renaissance Homes, offers his advice on buying your first home with confidence.

  1. Research Your Options

When people think about buying their first home, their minds often go directly to single-family homes – a big financial leap from renting an apartment, often involving more square feet and more maintenance. Many people forget about the in-between options, Sebastian said, such as condominiums. “Condos are great options for affordability because they often cost much less than single-family homes,” Sebastian explains. “They’re generally very low-maintenance, while still offering the perks of a small yard and a single-car garage. In Portland, they’re usually in desirable, very walkable locations, giving them high resale value.”

Whatever direction you’re leaning, take the time to think about what you want in a home and your future quality of life before deciding on the right option for you.

  1. Get the Financial Advice You Need

“Buying a home is like many big decisions in life – you’re never quite ready” Sebastian said. “But once you do, you won’t regret it.” With the right home and financial guidance along the way, owning a home will allow you to start building equity that can eventually be put toward a larger house, a second home, or other investments that are important to you.

When it comes time to buy, find a lender that specializes in home loans and presents fees and information transparently. At Renaissance Homes, Sebastian partners with preferred lenders who take a no-surprises approach and can develop a payment plan that works with your budget. In addition, all buyers who work with preferred lenders through Renaissance receive a credit that covers their closing costs.

  1. Find a Trusted Builder

“If you’re buying a new home, one of the most important things is researching the builder,” Sebastian said. He recommends finding an established builder that’s been working in that area for several years, rather than limited liability companies (LLC), which are often formed to build one project and then immediately disperse. Renaissance Homes, for example, has been building only in the Portland area since 1984. They’re committed to improving livability in Portland and offering homeowner support long-term.

 When finding a trusted builder, you should also look at the quality of homes a company produces, as well as its procedures for ensuring that quality. Renaissance Homes is an expert in energy efficiency, building homes that heat and cool for only $80-$100 per month. They utilize innovative techniques and technologies to secure insulation, maintain indoor air quality, and keep moisture out of homes, beginning with smart construction. Features like this are signs of a good builder, ensuring low maintenance costs and limited stress for homeowners.

For more information about Renaissance Homes and available houses and condos, visit Renaissance-Homes.com.