Buying a home is an exciting experience, especially for first-time property purchasers. Unfortunately, some of these real estate rookies get swept up in the process and make serious, yet avoidable mistakes.
So, before you hit the home market, make sure to familiarize yourself with some of these common homebuying blunders.
Many first-time buyers set themselves up for failure by poorly drafting budgets, according to U.S. News and World Report. Some don’t plan well for future expenses and forget to take into account key homebuying costs like down payments, insurance, taxes or repair fees.
You can avoid this mistake by developing a robust budget that will still be valid decades down the line. Consider how forthcoming life changes like having children might affect your pocket book. And remember, home ownership involves more than just submitting mortgage payments. No matter what kind of house you ultimately choose, upkeep costs and other related expenses will be an ongoing concern. You should prepare for these expenditures with a detailed budget.
Pre-qualfication is an essential part of the homebuying process.
Making assumptions about your credit isn’t a smart move. Before you start searching neighborhoods for the perfect place, get pre-qualified so you can go into each open house with an idea of what you can afford.
Choosing the wrong agent
Not all real estate agents possess ironclad qualifications. Unfortunately, many first-time buyers learn this through experience.
You should also judge their house-hunting skills. Most quality agents can rattle off listings that fit your requirements from memory. Additionally, see if they belong to any professional organizations like the National Association of Realtors.
As you perform this search, keep in mind one hard and fast rule: Don’t work with listing agents. These individuals represent sellers and will do their best to get the asking price or more, Trulia reported.
Being too fussy
There’s nothing wrong with having expectations, especially when house hunting. Of course, there’s a substantial difference between must-haves and nice-to-haves. Still, many first-timers conflate the two and establish unrealistic homebuying aims.
“As you search for your home, you may realize there are certain parameters you really want or don’t want,” Ray Boss Jr, a Maryland-based Realtor, told U.S. News and World Report. “Understand that a certain amount of flexibility is essential.”
“Once you own a home, you can make as many changes as you wish.”
As you tour homes, consider how their features fit into both your life and budget. Additionally, don’t put too much focus on deal-breakers. Remember, once you own a home, you can make as many changes as you wish.
Skipping the home inspection
Some inexperienced buyers forego home inspections to cut costs, CNBC reported. Unfortunately, this move often has the exact opposite effect. In an attempt to save a few hundred bucks, these frugal property owners let major structural issues go unnoticed. Then, years later, they fork over thousands for repairs.
Before you sign on the dotted line and pick out paint colors, have a state-certified inspector walk through your new home. This way, you can spot minor problems that have the potential to become more serious. Plus, you might learn a thing or two.
“It takes a trained eye to be able to see the problems that can exist in a home,” Bill Loden, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, told CNBC. “The inspection can also give the first-time buyer a bit of a schooling on the house and how to maintain it.”
With these mishaps in mind, you’ll be able to predict the homebuying pitfalls that often sink first-timers and make a wise investment that fits your needs.