Buying a home is a big deal. After all, it's probably the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. You're probably careful about how you spend your money and what you spend it on, so it only makes sense that you'd be just as careful when making a home purchase.
The thing is, many first-time homebuyers often make mistakes that can end up costing them, especially if they are not well represented and have never been part of a real estate transaction before. If you're on the prowl for a new home and are a newbie in the world of buying a home, there are certain mistakes you'll want to avoid, including the following.
Booking Showings Before Getting Pre-Qualified For a Mortgage
Many first -time homebuyers might be very excited about the prospect of buying a home, and they should be. Through all this excitement, however, it's common for these buyers to start pounding the pavement in search of a home right away, even before they've sat down to determine how much they can actually afford in a home purchase.
Sure, visiting homes is fun, but sitting down with a mortgage specialist before you begin the search is a crucial step to take. If you don't, you'll likely end up sorely disappointed when you find out a home you've fallen in love with is well beyond your financial reach.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will help you determine how much your income and finances will be able to support a home purchase and will identify the maximum amount you would get approved for. There's no sense in searching for a home that's $800,000, for instance, if your finances only allow a purchase of a home worth $500,000. Be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your home search.
Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent
While you might be able to visit a number of open houses to see what's on the market on your own, you'll need representation at some point in the process. In fact, it's not recommended to even visit any homes at all without an agent who will be able to help you find a home that meets all your criteria and will provide you with sound advice about how to make a solid offer.
Some first-time homebuyers may even end up dealing directly with a listing agent, which isn't always a good idea since it's their job to try and get the highest price and best terms for the seller. Your best bet is to work with a buyer's agent who will represent you in a real estate transaction and ensure your best interests are met.
Ignoring a Home's Drawbacks
Many first-time homebuyers fall in love the first home they see and end up wanting to put in an offer right away. While it's perfectly fine to want to buy the first home you've seen, it's always best to take a look around at other properties before finalizing your decision.
Many first-timers are so enamoured with a home that they are blind to many of the potential negatives that it may have. For example, you might love a house so much that you're willing to endure the really long commute, the noisy neighbours, or the lack of an extra bedroom. Unfortunately, these can all lead to buyer's remorse, which is a position you definitely don't want to be in.
Make sure to visit a few homes first and take the time to consider all aspects of a home, its location, and its neighbourhood before putting in an offer.
Taking Too Long to Decide
While you definitely don't want to jump on the first house you see without visiting others, you also don't want to take forever to make a decision. This can often backfire during a particularly hot seller's market where homes are snatched up just as fast as they are listed. If you wait too long, you could miss out on a great opportunity.
Once you've seen many houses and you get a sense of the market and where the prices are at, don’t hesitate to make an offer when you finally find a house you like. Odds are, there are probably a few other buyers who have their sights set on the same house.
You're going to be spending a lot of money on a home purchase, so you want to make sure that you get it right. To increase the odds of a successful transaction, be sure to team up with a sound real estate team to help you steer clear of costly mistakes and help you find a home you can afford and love.