Buying your first home is a major milestone, but many first-time home buyers are so anxious to sign the papers, that they make a lot of first-timer mistakes in the process. The following six tips are things that first-time home buyers should know before they even begin the process of looking for that first home.
Understand the financial aspects
A surprising number of first-time buyers don’t really understand how a mortgage works and consequently, have no idea how much home they can afford. So many anxious first-time buyers waste a lot of time initially trying to find the perfect home only to find they’re nowhere close to affording it. Instead, first-time buyers need to take a hard look at their own financial situation and understand what’s in their price range given their income, savings, and credit score.
See potential, not problems
Unless they’ve just won the lottery, most first-time home buyers don’t have the luxury of picking out a home that fulfills all their hopes and dreams. Getting that dream home often takes decades of trading up starting with a real fixer-upper. In almost every case, first-time home buyers will have to sacrifice on many of their wants. It can be easy at first, to dismiss a lot of good homes because of things the buyer doesn’t like but as time goes on, and the reality of their financial situation sinks in, first-time buyers eventually realize they’ll have to make some compromises. A better way is for first-time buyers to adjust their expectations from the start and realize that the homes in their price range are going to have some imperfections. Learn to differentiate between problems that are more easily fixed, and problems that are a money pit. For example, if a home has unsightly baseboard radiators, the homeowner can invest a little money into baseboard heater covers to make them more sleep and modern. If a home badly needs a new coat of paint, the new homeowner can paint it. Major problems like issues with the roof or the presence of harmful materials like asbestos or lead-based paint, on the other hand are more trouble than they’re worth which brings us to the next tip.
Hire a home inspector
It’s the home inspector’s job to help buyers differentiate between the easy-to-fix issues and the more problematic issues. A good home inspector will not only be able to spot problems that need immediate attention, but he/she will also be able to be give you a fairly accurate estimate of how much it will cost to make those repairs. This information is invaluable at helping you decide on a fair bid for a home. The information may also give you some bargaining power: you can require the homeowner to make certain repairs before offering the amount they’re asking for.
Hire a good real-estate agent
First-time buyers often forgo a real-estate agent because they don’t want to pay a percentage to him/her and want to get the most for their money. Ironically, it’s the first-time buyer who can most benefit from having a real-estate agent. It’s a good idea to pick an agent who is patient and ready to help guide you through the process and help you understand how it works and not just someone who will do all the work for you.
Space vs. convenience
The convenience of a home in the city means sacrificing space while the freedom of more space means sacrificing the convenience that comes with living closer to all the action. First-time buyers must accept going in that they can only have one or the other and need to carefully consider their priorities before settling on which kind of home to look for.
The down payment
The size of the down payment is one of the most important factors that will determine how much of a mortgage a home buyer can be approved for and what kind of rate they can get on that mortgage. First-time buyers often can’t afford a big down payment but it’s still important to save up at least a small down payment. Many first-time buyers make the mistake of trying to buy a home when they have practically no savings at all with which to make a down payment. This severely restricts the number of homes that will be in their budget.
Measure the height from the floor to the top of the metal wall plate.
Follow our guide for baseboard heater cover measurement:
Any baseboard larger than 7 3/8" (188 mm) will be compatible with our standard cover.
Any measurement greater than 9 3/8" (238 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure from the bottom of the finned tube heating element to the top of the metal wall plate,
A measurement of 5 1/2" to 6 3/4" (140 mm – 172 mm) will fit our standard cover.
A measurement of 7 1/2" to 8 3/4" (191 mm – 222 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure the distance from the wall or the metal wall plate attached to the wall, to the outside of the finned tube heating element.
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our tall cover.
EZ Snap™ Wall Widgets are used when your old or existing wall back plate has been removed or if you have to hang your new cover 1 inch or higher to bring them up to a height that will fit our installation guidelines. Just measure your overall desired height, subtract 1", drill a hole, preferably in a stud and attach it to the wall with the included screw.
EZ Snap™ Floor Fidgets easily raise your new covers ¾ inch to compensate for any ¾ inch floor (wood, tile, or other) that has been installed any time since your baseboard heater was originally installed. May be used for any reason when the overall height has been shortened and the total height is less than 7-½ inches for standard height or 9-½ inches for the TALL height EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Covers. Just use the self-tapping screws to secure them to the top of your existing wallplate.
EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions are used when your wall back plate has been completely removed. EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions receives your EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Cover and keeps your aluminum fin tube from sagging. These completely replace your wall back plate. To install, slide up from the bottom and make sure the top is at your desired height. Screw to the wall, then bend the front finger up to hold the fin tube in place.
Measure from wall to wall and subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 flush to wall end caps.
Measure the overall length of the existing unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 Closed or Open-end caps.
Measure from the corner to the end of the unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 1 Closed or Open-end & 1 flush to wall end cap.
Measure the left side from corner A to corner B (see diagram). Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side if also wall to wall. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from each side that is wall to wall. Choose your end caps.
Measure the left side from the corner of the wall to the end of the unit with ends caps. Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from both left and right sides. Choose your end caps.
L-Shaped outside radiators ending in the middle of the wall:
Measure from outside corner of the wall A to the end of the radiator unit with end caps attached B, then subtract ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Measure from outside corner of the wall to the corner of the wall, then subtract 1/2" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Left leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½ (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Center leg - measure from corner to corner and subtract 3" for each corner a total of 6"
Right leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.).
We recommend that you order covers a little longer than normal and cut them on site, as there are many opportunities for mistakes in measuring and installation. By cutting on site you can fit and cut to fit. The covers can be cut with a good quality jigsaw and a fine metal cutting blade.
Now that you’ve learned how to measure baseboard heaters,
you’re ready to order.