Expert Interview Series: Dan Moyle of AmeriFirst on First Time Home Buyers

First time home buyers

What home improvements mean the most to you?

If you’re in the thick of real estate shopping, or if you’ve just purchased your first home, are you more concerned with making practical and functional improvements? (Gutter Helmet products are great!) Or are you more concerned with the basics for the moment?

Many first-time home buyers start with cosmetics, according to Dan Moyle, the Creative Director of Marketing and Communications at AmeriFirst Home Mortgage. Harry Helmet spoke with Dan recently to gain insights into the minds of first-time home buyers.

What is the profile of your most common customer?

We focus on first-time home buyers. These are typically younger people who want a home after college to start their lives outside of an apartment or their parents’ house. Their dreams include things like landscaping according to their own tastes and having specific rooms that they want like man caves, reading rooms, entertainment areas, etc. They want to entertain friends and family and start their own families as well.

What other kinds of home improvements are important to them when they’re looking into first time or new home ownership?

Popular home improvements for our buyers range from the simple to the complex. They include fresh paint, new carpet, new appliances, energy-efficient windows, an updated bathroom, and a remodeled kitchen. Sometimes, the more driven buyers will completely gut a kitchen, move walls, or finish a basement.

If someone were to ask you for advice on home renovation, what are 3-5 tips you would offer them?

1. Paint. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to add value to a home is to add a fresh coat of paint in a few key areas. For under $100, any room can look fresh and new.

2. Change your cabinet hardware. Old drawer pulls and cabinet knobs can date a kitchen or bath. For a couple of dollars each, you can update your cabinets with new, sleek hardware. It’s a cheap DIY home improvement that anyone can do.

3. Replace your old light fixtures. Light fixtures can also make your home seem dated and are easy and inexpensive to replace. Search discount renovation supply houses. You can also find simple ceiling fixtures for under $50 at most big box home improvement stores.

4. Give your bath a mini-makeover. Bathroom makeovers don’t have to mean big bucks. Give your bath a mini-makeover by replacing cabinet hardware, adding a new shiny faucet, and re-grouting the tile.

5. Wallpaper just one wall. You don’t have to wallpaper an entire room. Just do one wall to add inexpensive flair.

When you hear couples or prospective buyers discuss home ownership and improvements, are they more concerned about aesthetics or practicality?

It’s often a discussion about making a house their home through a mix of utility and desired improvements. Many home buyers find a fixer-upper or a house that needs a little TLC, and they give it a fresh look with paint, carpet, cleaning and some light improvements. The more practical improvements like windows and gutters generally come about after they move in and have lived there a bit.

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