Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience. The details are numerous and it’s easy to miss a step that you never even knew existed! But the stakes are high – potentially thousands of dollars – and so it’s important to know what you’re getting into and how you can avoid the mistakes of those who have come before you. Here are 6 first-time home buying mistakes that you should avoid at all costs:
1) Not knowing your financial state. Many first-time homebuyers begin looking at homes and fall in love with their dream job before they ever even figure out what they can afford. But this approach is short sighted and often ends in heart ache, financial crisis or both. Before you even begin your home search, find out your credit score, meet with a lender to find out what you can afford and then stick to your budget.
2) Not factoring in extra fees when creating a home budget. While the mortgage payment for a home may seem affordable, don’t forget to factor in taxes, insurance, utilities, HOA fees and the cost of home maintenance and repairs into your monthly home budget.
3) Not hiring a trusted real estate agent. Many first-time homebuyers mistakenly think that they can go through the process on their own, but soon find themselves in over their heads. Ask your friends and family for their recommendations on an experienced real estate agent that you can trust.
4) Not finding a trusted lending agent. A great experienced lending agent can work with your credit history and your credit score to find the best mortgage rate for you. Finding the best one can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
5) Letting your emotions get the best of you. You can let yourself fall in love with a home but always let yourself walk away if the facts and reality are telling you to do so. Ignoring bad results from a home inspection can leave you in a financial mess down the road.
6) Not thinking about the future. You may not mind that your new home sits next to a busy intersection or that the layout is peculiar but a future buyer might. If you’re getting a great deal on a home because the sellers are having a hard time selling it, keep in mind that you may have a hard time selling it in the future.
If you’re a veteran homebuyer, do you have any advice for a first-time homebuyer?