Buying a home is exciting but full of complexities. It can be easy to get lost and confused during the home buying process. Proper planning is paramount. It’s also helpful to learn from other people’s mistakes. Here are some of the most common errors people make when shopping for a new home.
- Not budgeting for everything. Yes, this sounds obvious, but many people forget or are unaware of some of the costs of buying a home. There are costs for inspections and appraisals, not to mention new furniture, appliances, moving fees, utility deposits, etc.
- Not getting preapproved. If you want a house, and you love it; you don’t have any time to waste in today’s market. You need to put in an offer quickly, before it’s snatched away from you by another buyer. Make an appointment with a lender. Find out if you qualify and for how much, before you start shopping. Then you will be ready to put an offer immediately when you find your dream home. Don’t lose your dream home by failing to get preapproved.
- Going Solo. The sellers have an agent protecting them, looking after their interests and advising them, but do you? You should be working with your own Realtor. You wouldn’t go to court without your own lawyer would you? Even if you have good knowledge of the home buying process, it’s hard to have perspective when you’re purchasing your own home. There are a lot of decisions that could have major consequences down the road, that’s why it’s important to have someone on your side. Best of all, you won’t even have to pay for their services. The seller will pay for your Realtor out of the proceeds of the home.
- Trusting verbal agreements. A home seller can verbally accept your bid and still turn around and give it to someone else if a higher bid comes along. So before you celebrate your new home, make sure you have all of the signed paperwork.
- Skipping the home inspection. You can’t expect the seller to tell you about all the potential problems you might face if you buy their home. There might even be issues with the house that the seller isn’t aware of, which is why it’s crucial to hire an inspector to take a look through the house. An inspector will examine the overall foundation and structural features of a house. It’s their job to find these areas of concern so that you don’t have to worry about them later on!
- Sweating the small things. Don’t like the color of house or the wallpaper inside? Don’t sweat the small thing! Focus instead on the location and the overall structure, layout and size of the house. Once you move in, you can change the small things you don’t like such as paint color, flooring, wall paper and more; and make your house a home!
- Making another large purchase before the deal is closed. Prior to closing, a home buyer should not celebrate the new house with another large purchase (example: an expensive sofa, car or anything that requires a loan). The reason? Lenders will be pulling and assessing your credit reports before closing. Even if you’ve been preapproved, a change in your recent credit history can make ineligible for your loan and you could lose the house!
If you avoid these mistakes and work closely with a good Realtor, you will find your dream home that you can enjoy for years to come!
By Bonnie Marlow, Realtor, Cisco Realty