7 Dangerous Home Buying Mistakes
Buying a home is one of the most exc i ting events in a person’s life. whether it’s the first home or the fifth one; however. it can also be one of the most stressful. Purchasing a home should be regret-free and anxiety-free.
Avoiding these 7 common mistakes when buying a home can help lower your stress and help you focus more easily on possibly the single largest purchase of your lifetime.
Mistake #1- Not Being Prepared
When you consider the scope of the purchase. it’s surprising how many people haven’t done sufficient research.
Research your buying power – It’s easy to get a cursory idea of what you can afford through some websites found online. Many have calculator s that allow you to input your salary and debts.
Better yet. sit down with a mortgage professional before you go house- hunting and find out exactly what you can afford.
When it comes to making an offer on a home. sellers are far more interested in offers that come from pre-qualified buyers. They know the sale will. in all likelihood, go through and that there won’t be any unforeseen problems at the last minute.
Mistake #2- Too Long Term
There is danger in buying a home that’s not right for you because you are planning too far in advance.
Your lite can change pretty dramatically in the space of a few short years. You may experience a change in health. family or financial status tor example.
While you can’t plan for everything. you need to consider that you may have to sell the home unexpectedly in the not-so distant future. and the house must have some resale value.
Mistake #3 -Waiting Too Long
It’s a big decision and only a foolish person would enter i nto it lightly. But it’s just as easy to let caution get the better of you. The real estate market isn’t fixed. it can change dramatically.
Some markets are very tight, with few homes available- a tight market probably won’t get better in the next year.
The National Association of Realtors estimates that the appreciation rate in most markets will be at least 4 to 6 percent.
Looking at everything before making a decision. it’s tempting to think that the grass is always greener somewhere else. but you may find that the first home is the best home for you.
If you wait. that home may not be available later. Don’t rush into a decision. but if a house feels right. contact a real estate agent right away.
Mistake #4- Single Features
If you develop microscopic vision when looking at a house. it’s possible to overlook far greater potential problems.
Interior Decorating– Don’t get caught up in decorating features. These are all easy features to change. However. the layout and floor plan of the home isn’t easy to change.
Exterior– It’s important to have a home with nice curb appeal. but again. you can change that later. It’s far easier to change landscaping than it is to rip out walls or add-on to a home to try and make it livable.
Price– Don’t focus completely on the price. Most buyers go out with an idea that they will only spend a fixed amount. A budgeted amount is often the first criteria when it comes time to evaluating homes.
Mistake #5- New Construction
Many buyers focus on existing homes and don’t consider newly constructed homes. It’s hard to see the final vision of a planned home community, especially when touring through a development that is merely empty lots and partially built homes.
However. these homes have great appreciation value. especially when you get in during the initial phases of the development. before the model homes have been built and the developer has invested a lot of money in marketing the community.
Mistake #6- No Real Estate Agent
Many people start looking at homes by driving by a home for sale and getting the number off the sign. or visiting an open house.
While that’s a great way to get a feel for the market. it’s also easy to make a commitment to buying a home that doesn’t necessarily reflect your best interests.
Working with a real estate agent can save you time and money.
Mistake #7- Rushing the Process
Let’s say you found your dream home and put in an offer. What happens next?
If your sale follows most standard sales. the home is inspected and appraised, the information is shared with the buyer (via the agent) and the mortgage company. Title mortgage company processes the loan agreement, the buyer and seller sign off and the home is yours!
However. in highly competitive markets. some buyers waive the home inspection so that the loan can go through more quickly.
So what’s the problem? If there are defects that the home buyers discover later. they have no recourse – the house is theirs. warts and all.
In a nutshell. be patient. It’s at this stage. when people try to rush the process. that some of the biggest and most costly mistakes can take place.