When you’re new to the real estate market and looking to buy your first home, the process can be overwhelming. Here are ten mistakes to avoid when buying your first home.
Not Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan
Don’t skip this step. Forgetting to get pre-approved for a loan is like going grocery shopping without a list. Getting pre-approved for a loan gives you a concrete idea of what you can afford in a house and will help you know what areas to shop in.
Choosing the Wrong Realtor
A real estate agent is your greatest resource during the buying process, so it’s important to choose one that best fits your needs. A good agent should be looking out for your best interest, not just focused on making a sale.
Putting in a Poor Offer on a House
When you are ready to make an offer on a house, be smart. Consult your real estate agent. They will be able to tell you if a home is priced too high and if you can get it for less, or if you should offer the full listing price. If you make too low an offer, the seller might not take it seriously and you could risk losing a home you love.
Neglecting the Home Inspection
A home inspection is one of the most important steps in the buying process, and it should not be ignored. A home inspection gives you an overview of the quality of the house you are buying. It can alert you to issues or problems that need to be fixed before you close the deal on your new home.
Putting All of Your Money Toward a Down Payment
When buying your first home, do not put all of your savings toward your down payment. Make sure you’re considering closing costs, inspection fees and other miscellaneous costs and be sure you have money set aside for them.
Misunderstanding the Costs of Buying a Home
The cost of a home isn’t just about the listing price. Consider closing costs, paying for home inspections, making repairs to your new home, buying furniture and the millions of other aspects that come with home ownership. Are you ready for all of that? Make sure you can stay afloat before diving into the deep end.
Buying More Than You Can Afford
This mistake can lead to a lot of regret and financial downfall. When buying your first home, make sure you can afford it. Don’t stretch your dollar as far as it will go just to get the house with great curb appeal, gourmet kitchen or walk-in closet. You can add most of those things to your home along the way, so don’t make the mistake of stretching your wallet too thin.
Forgetting About Property Taxes
You know you can afford to buy a house, but can you afford the town you want to live in? Explore the property taxes in the different towns where you might purchase a home, and make sure they fit into your budget.
Forgetting to Consider Resale Value
Resale value is important when you’re buying your first home. Buyers tend to stay in their first home for about four or five years. When buying your first home, make sure it is optimized for resale. If you wouldn’t buy a house with an outdated kitchen or bright green walls, chances are no one else will either.
Getting Too Emotional
Buying your first home is a stressful and emotional experience, but don’t let your emotions get in the way when making decisions. Getting too emotional may lead to a decision you might regret later. Make your decisions with your head, not your heart.