If you're starting to be in the market for a home you're probably doing a little bit of research. Nobody likes to make mistakes so we can learn from others puts us ahead of the game. If you're looking for property or home around the Portland or Vancouver area use these tips to better inform yourself so that you don't make mistakes throughout the buying process and even the househunting process.
#1. Buying at the wrong time.
Buying out of season or when the market is not in your favor is one of the first mistakes can make, however, if you need to regardless of the time of year, it's important to work with a real estate agent that understands what the market's like. Buying in the height of the spring season will typically get you a higher-priced home, so buying in the winter or even the fall when things start slowing down, is really the prime time to find a good deal.
#2. Judging the house by the first look.
The very first time you look at homes it can be very easy to judge a book by its cover. But, just because the house shows horribly doesn't mean it's a bad deal. The house might be a little bit dated or even the photos just might not showcase the home well. You never know what kind of a home you have until you take a closer look. You could find a diamond in the rough but the pictures just don't do it justice. Talk to your agent and give yourself the benefit of the doubt.
Joe Hayden - Louisville Realtor says: It can be hard to see the potential in a house, especially if this is your first time buying. Ask your agent about the potential since we've seen thousands of houses. Your agent should be able to tell you if this house is a good buy or a money pit.
#3. Buying the first house you see.
Now, this happens a lot; first-time homebuyers will view multiple houses and then go back to the very first house they've seen. And that's fine, but if you want to purchase the very first house and the only house you see, you could be making a big mistake. Either first house could be THE house, but make sure you give yourself a few more options and comparable properties so you know what else is out there.
#4. Not having your own agent.
If you've never purchased a property before going at it by yourself can be disastrous. If you're not a real estate agent yourself, your to be going up against one with the listing agent, which means you may not understand all the documents you are asked to sign. Having your own representation that's working only for you throughout the transaction means that your financial situation and negotiating strategy is kept confidential throughout the process. This agent has your back.
Peggy Wester - Grafton WI Agent says: Too many people think they are saving money when they buy on their own but the other agent ends up conducting both sides of the transaction, doing twice the work, and the one without the agent really isn't protected. NEVER buy a house without your OWN agent.
#5. Skipping the inspection.
We urge all of our buyers to hire their own home inspector. Because we are a reputable company throughout Portland and Vancouver we have many referrals and references, but skipping the home inspection altogether is a no-no. This is a very large investment and it's important to know everything you can about it before you finalize the sale. This is just a $300-$500 investments, but it can be worth millions in the long run.
Read More: 4 Ways the Home Inspection Could Go
#6. Not getting pre-approved.
This is one of the most important steps for any homebuyer, regardless of whether or not this is your first time. Before looking at homes sit down with a lender to find out how much home you can actually afford. They will give you a price range and then keep your search to within 2% to 5% of that. It's important to go below what your maximum allowance is so that you are not stretch every month with the mortgage. Your pre-approval will tell you exactly how much home you can afford so that you're not looking at homes out of your price range only to get disappointed.
#7. Not being concerned about old paint.
Yes, paint is a cosmetic issue, but older homes may have lead-based paint. Homeowners are required to disclose if they know their home has lead-based paint but most of them don't even know it. If you're buying a home that was built before 1978 the home probably has lead-based paint. This is only a concern if you have kids or pets that might be chewing on paint chips or if you plan on removing the paint altogether. Chances are, you can simply paint over the older paint, which many people have probably already done, and then you're fine.
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#8. Neglecting the final walk-through.
You love the home, the inspection is great, everything looks good, so why bother doing the final walk-through? You never know what could happen in that house between the inspection and final closing. You always want to conduct that last-minute final walk-through to make sure the home is as it should be one closing. Once at home closes, it's all on you.
#9. Not getting to know your neighbors.
If you find a home you love, talk to the neighbors. It's a good way to get to know your future neighbors and a good way to get to know the neighborhood as well. You can find out who has dogs, a good babysitter, or the neighborhood handyman.
#10. Trying to settle.
Don't settle for a home you know won't work for your lifestyle or your family. If you have three kids, buying a two-bedroom might not work for you, so don't try to cram yourself into a home that just won't work. It's better to wait it out, find a home that's right for you so that you can be satisfied long after the purchase.
Read More: What if you hate the house after you buy it?
If you're ready to start looking, browse all of the current and active listings throughout Portland and Vancouver on the website here. If you have more questions or would like to schedule a showing contact us at any time.