There a ton of decisions that go into purchasing a home. What is the commute like to and from work? Where will my child go to school? Where is the closest dog park? While every buyer is equipped with their own set of requirements, make sure you are prioritizing certain items so you don’t end up spending a significant amount of money in the long run. Think about these six common home buyer mistakes and see if any of these hit home.
Avoid these 6 Common Home Buyer Mistakes
1. Skipping the home inspection
Hitting fast-forward on the process can lead to home buyer mistakes, especially in a competitive seller’s market. It may seem like just another cost upfront, but having a home inspection done on your new home can save you from big financial burden.
Even if the previous home owner says there is nothing wrong, there may be defects underneath the surface that the previous home buyers did not even know about. For example, say your home inspection points out that you have faulty electrical wiring in one of your bedrooms. It may not hinder the lights, but it could be very dangerous and could put you in a situation of fire in the future. You don’t want to be in the position of wishing you got a home inspection done when it’s too late.
2. Focusing on the house, not the neighborhood
A house is not the only thing that makes a house a home. The community, cleanliness, and friendliness all make up a large part of what makes you enjoy being home. If you spend all of your time and energy focused on why a certain house is your “perfect house,” you may miss the fact that the neighborhood is not suited for your family.
Living in a neighborhood of working adults might not be fun for your young kids. Chances are that your kids will not have the opportunity to make relationships with kids in the community. Evaluate the community and other factors before moving into a house that you think is a good fit.
Failing to budget for the costs that come after you close
Common home buyer mistakes include underestimating expenses that come after you get the keys. The expenses do not stop once your real estate agent hands you the keys to your new home. Make sure to budget for all the appliances, décor, and utilities that come with moving into a new home.
If you are moving into a home that was previously lived in, make sure to leave room in your budget for repairs and remodels. Before you choose a home, be sure to check out costs of appliances and see what it adds to your upfront cost of purchasing a new home.
Becoming too emotionally invested
Getting too attached to a home can lead to disappointment in choosing another home or choosing a home that may not be the best suited for you at the time. Visit multiple homes so you can see the them for yourself. Oooing and awwwing at pictures online can help you see what the homes look like, but can also be unrealistic.
Additionally, it is smart to ask questions to your real estate agent as well as the buyers who live in the home currently. Don’t allow yourself to become too emotionally attached to a home if you don’t have many data points on the home and neighborhood.
Thinking that there is only one perfect home out there
This mindset comes from having a long list of requirements that leads you to thinking a house has to check every single box. Make a list of pros and cons and prioritize the top two factors. If commute to work and price are your top two priorities, deeply research homes that are close to work, or close to a bus stop, and are in your price range. But doing this may take out some other homes that are the style you want or are right near a shopping center. Once you have your top two priorities, you will keep your mind open into finding one of the many right homes for you.
Not knowing what you can afford
Do yourself a favor and get pre-qualified before you really start your home search. You may think you know the max loan you can take out, but the last thing you want is to find a home at the top of your budget, just to find out you can’t actually qualify for a loan of that amount.
Talk to a mortgage lender and complete an application to see exactly where you fall. Doing this will also give you time to correct any credit errors you may have. You also don’t want to be in the situation that you’ve found a home but you now have to put that on hold to repair credit. Houses are flying off the market, so talking to your mortgage lender early in the process can set you up for success in buying your new home.