The process of buying a home – especially your first one – can be overwhelming. But if you let your emotions get ahead of you, you could easily fall into the trap of committing costly home buyer’s mistakes. It’s worth noting that buying a home is a big commitment, so it’s essential to keep your emotions in check during the entire process. This way, you’ll be able to think clearly and be well informed when it’s time to make a decision.
Purchasing a house or any other type of property comes with great responsibility. That said, you want to make sure that you’re doing it right. Below, we’ve laid out the top five mistakes to avoid when house hunting to help you in your house hunting and buying journey.
1. Poor budget planning
When buying a home, know that your total income, assets, debts, and other financial factors will be a big consideration. Chances are, you’ll be taking out credit – be it a mortgage or hard money loan. Even if it’s a run-down house that you’re going to flip, the banks must see that you can afford the repayments.
Aside from the credit considerations, by not knowing your budget, you could end up wasting a lot of time and effort looking at houses that you can’t even afford in the first place.
The best way to avoid this mistake is to plan your budget accordingly. Mortgage loan calculators are available for homebuyers to help them figure out how much monthly repayments they can afford. From there, you can set your budget and narrow down your home choices.
2. Buying the first house you liked
As tempting as it is to buy the first house you fall in love with, resist the urge to fall into that trap. It might have all the aesthetics you want in a home, but if it’s far from work or constantly have leaky pipes, it might not be worth it and even cost you more in the long run.
Buying a house is a business transaction, so you want to get the best possible deal you can get. For instance, it could be less aesthetic than you want, but the foundations are in the best condition, and it’s located in a prime location. Check the houses thoroughly and assess whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
3. Not working with a real estate agent
You may choose not to work with a real estate agent because you’re worried about the additional costs. While there is nothing wrong with doing the process yourself, working with a real estate agent would make your life easier. Plus, it will increase your chances of getting the best deal.
You won’t even have to pay the real estate agent since the sellers will be the ones to pay their commissions. So, it’s a win-win situation for you.
That being said, it’s still important to choose the real estate agent you work with carefully. The last thing you want is working with a fraud. Be sure that they have a good reputation. Ask them about their experience and what sort of deals they usually handle. If you can, ask about references so you can do due diligence yourself.
4. Skipping home inspections
Many buyers often make the mistake of skipping home inspections because of the costs. But if you’re looking for your forever home, it is a must, especially if you’re buying a relatively old home. You want a well-maintained home with no hidden safety issues (i.e., disintegrating floorboards, termites, weak foundation).
Aside from that, home inspections also allow you to spot any minor damages that you can use to renegotiate the asking price. It could be an old flooring that needs replacing, an outdated HVAC system, or weak foundations. As a result, you’ll be able to bargain and get the home for less than the original price. Also, banks may require the home buyers to have the home inspected by a professional home inspector before approving their mortgage application.
5. Not researching the neighborhood and other factors
Safety should always be your top priority when buying a home. That said, aside from the foundations, it’s also wise to look into the neighborhood the house is in. Does it suit your taste? Is it too far from the city center? How is the crime rate? The emergency response?
You should also look at school or daycare quality if you have kids. You want your house to be on the school bus’ way. Take note of your needs when you’re buying a home. If you make the mistake of purchasing a home that doesn’t suit your family’s needs, you might end up resenting the house, thereby lowering your overall quality of life.
At the end of the day, buying a home will be one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. As such, you want to land the best deal possible.
As you continue with your home buying journey, always be proactive and do your research. Keep the mistakes mentioned above in mind and try to avoid them at all costs. If it’s your first time buying a house, you’ll want to make sure that the entire process will go as smoothly and memorable as possible.