When you’re looking for a new home, it’s easy to fall into some of the mistakes many other homebuyers just like you have made countless times before. If it’s your first time buying a home, the risk of making a mistake is a lot higher, but even old pros who have been through the routine a few times already may hit a pitfall without even realizing it. It’s important to know what you’re up against when you’re going shopping for a house, and it’s especially a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common mistakes made by people in your position.
Unrealistic Budget: This is probably the worst and most common mistake made by homebuyers. If you don’t know how much you can spend on your home, you’re going to be in a bad situation from the very beginning. Start with getting pre-qualified with a lender and communicate with your realtor clearly that you cannot go over this price. In a best-case scenario, you’ll have to find another home when you try to qualify for a loan you can’t afford. And in a worst-case scenario, you’ll end up buying a home you can’t pay for and will have a lot of financial trouble down the line.
Forgetting Expenses: Don’t forget that the cost of the home isn’t the only expense you’ll have at closing. Closing costs, taxes, and a host of other expenses will come your way. If this is your first home, you’ll also need to factor in home insurance; if you’ve already been owning a home, this may be an expense you’re used to.
Pickiness: Being too picky may mean you’ll never find the right home. If you have a specific budget, you can’t be so choosy that you turn down every home that doesn’t meet every item on your checklist. Prioritize a few items that are most important to you (no major renovations needed, big backyard, located in town) and leave off the ones that you can live without (updated bathroom, fence around the yard, already landscaped).
Emotional Investment: It’s hard not to get attached to a home you feel is perfect for you, but the truth is that you’re probably not going to get the first home you fall in love with. Try not to get emotionally attached to a home until you’ve signed the contract.
Ignoring Home Inspections: Some buyers just ignore what the home inspection says and only have one done because it’s required, either by the law in their state or by the contract they have. It’s always a good idea to pay close attention to what the inspection tells you so you can decide whether or not to progress with the purchase.
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