You may be in the market to buy your first home. It's exciting to have finally saved up the down payment and you have a good idea of where you want to live. You may even have an idea of what you would like your house to look like and how big it should be. While these are important things to know, there are other aspects of buying real estate that you should take into account.

Here are some things you should know before you buy a house.

It's a Good Idea to Use a Real Estate Agent

You may have thought you want to save money and instead of hiring a real estate agent, you would buy a home on your own. While you certainly can do this if you like, it's not always the best idea. Buying real estate can be a complicated process and if you don't understand the legalities and even the negotiation process, you could end up spending more than you need to or be stuck with a long closing date as just a few examples.

One of the reasons you might not want to use a real estate agent is, you think you will have to spend more money because they work on commission. This isn't true. The seller is the one who pays the real estate agent's commission. When you hire an agent, it won't cost you more money and you get the benefit of their expertise and knowledge. They will also protect your interests in the transaction.

Buy for the Future

Many people looking at buying real estate, will typically only think about what they need in a home at the present moment. This could end up being a problem in the long run. You will find that you won't get a lot of equity in a home until a few years after you bought it, so if you get married or have kids within a short period of time after buying your house, you might need to upgrade sooner than you thought.

It's always a good idea to buy for your future lifestyle not just your present one. This also means if you are an older buyer, do you really want a large house with multiple floors that could become an issue when you retire? Always think about what your plans could be and what could potentially arise as you age before you buy your home.

Don't Just Look at the Surface

When you are looking at real estate to buy, it's easy to get caught up in how the house looks at the present moment. Your eye may catch on the furniture or the color of the walls. You may not like the cabinets or perhaps you think the bathroom is a little outdated. If you dismiss a house based on surface items that can be fixed you could miss out on a house that you could really love.

Instead of focusing on the paint on the walls or the owner's furniture or cabinet door handles, look beyond that to what you could make the house look like. Take a look at the overall layout and see if it works for your furniture and the number of people in your household. Are the repairs or renovations manageable for you? When you can look beyond the surface of what the house looks like, you can find a dream house just waiting for you.