Nobody likes deliberately making mistakes but so many homeowners do so without even realizing the mistake their making. If you're trying to prevent these mistakes and really want to purchase a home the right way with as much knowledge under your belt as possible, try to avoid these very common costly mistakes.
#1. Ignoring the pre-approval process.
Nothing can be more frustrating than finding the home of your dreams only to realize that you can't afford it. This is where preparing your finances ahead of time really pays off. Sit down with a lender, discuss all of your debts, assets, income and liabilities and have that lender issue a letter of pre-approval. This letter can be accompanied with your offer stating that you truly can afford this home. This also avoids looking at homes that are simply out of your price range. Please do not neglect this extremely important step.
#2. Not doing a good neighborhood research.
Once you are preapproved as your real estate agent I will send you daily or weekly listings that match your search criteria and price. We can look at any of these homes but I urge all of my buyers to drive through the neighborhood first and take a look at the home outside of its typical online photos. Real estate agents can alter photos so that the grungy gravel pit next door or the neighbor with all the junky cars in the front yard are not seen in the photos. You might love the home but once you see the neighborhood, you won't love it as much as you thought you did.
#3. Buying a home without the security of your own agent.
This is probably one of the most common mistake that many buyers make simply because they are not aware of it. Many homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, will simply find a home they love and buy it to the listing agent. This is a huge mistake because that listing agent's primary goal is to sell that one property. Using your own agent means there's no hidden agenda, negotiating on your behalf, and getting you the right deal, not just selling anyone particular property. Plus, it's completely free to use a buyers agent so why wouldn't you?
#4. Getting excited about an overpriced property.
Many buyers may be jumping on the bargain bandwagon but without proper research, may be spending more money than they need to. Many first-time buyers perceive several properties as a below market value but in fact may be overpriced for the neighborhood. Markets fluctuate and micromarkets are no exception. Have your real estate agent research the price and the values in the neighborhood to determine if the home is in fact overpriced. You can always offer a lower amount if the home is overvalued.
#5. Forgetting hidden fees
So you've already talked about the down payment and the loan itself but there are other fees included in buying a home including out-of-pocket costs for a home inspection, which is definitely not something to neglect either. This could range anywhere from $300-$800 and it will need to be paid directly to the home inspector. Other fees include closing costs, taxes, insurance, utilities, appraisal fees, escrow fees and other assorted closing costs. Ask your real estate agent about all fees including an earnest money deposit ahead of time to that you are well prepared for any unexpected fees that might come along.
#6. Not getting things in writing.
Everything, including any negotiations, price changes, items that will be included in the sale all should be put in writing and be signed by both the buyer and the seller. It can be quite a pain to go back and forth and get everyone's signatures, approvals or initials but it is imperative so that no one can come back and states that something wasn't included or not counted. Don't worry about offending someone by asking for their approval in writing. This is a very large purchase and you wouldn't want to be dealing with any hearsay when things don't go your way.
These are some of the most common mistakes and I wouldn't want any of my buyers to make them so by simply understanding the mistakes and trying to avoid them, asking questions and getting everything in writing will avoid these types of problems in the future. Ready to get started? Give me a call today we can direct you to your very first step to homeownership.