Five Mistakes Home Buyers Make
- Not knowing your buying power! Sure it’s easy to fall in love with a house but it is worse to find out, “Opps, can’t qualify.” Get preapproved with a local lender. Make sure there aren’t any surprises before you start shopping. Even if you have perfect credit, talk with a loan officer before you start your search, you never know what might be on your credit report that could negatively impact your ability to buy. Work with your loan officer to get the right loan terms.
- Buying a home that is too expensive! Look at all the costs to maintain the home, costs to run the utilities, cost of insurance, cost and distance to drive to work etc. It won’t do you any good to get the house of your dreams if you can’t afford to keep it. It’s nice to go out to eat and to still be able to pay your mortgage.
- Buying a home that doesn’t fit! If you have the financial means to afford a better home do so. Don’t buy a home that you’ll quickly out grow or that doesn’t suit your needs. If you have a large family you’re going to be very cramped in a small house. Or if you are a gardener and need outdoor space for planting, then a home on a postage size lot isn’t going to work. Don’t try to save money by being cheap. In the long run, you’ll spend more money by moving twice or regretting your decision not to get the home you wanted and needed.
- Not getting an inspection and doing research! So many times new home buyers want to save money by not getting an inspection. A home inspection won’t reveal everything but it can catch a lot of things that you may not realize. The cost of an inspection can save you literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. Better to invest a few hundred dollars up front to find potential issues with a house. In addition, research the area. Drive the neighborhood at different times of the day and night. Talk with the neighbors they may tell you more than you want to know.
- Not consulting with a local professional! Work with a knowledgeable Realtor who can help you get the home you want. Your agent has a wealth of information from down payment assistance programs, how to negotiate, how to structure your offer, common issues in neighborhoods, costs of closing, cost to remodel, common builder problems, and potential lender delays. Remember real estate is local and different states and areas handle things differently. What applies in NY may not work in AZ.