There’s a certain romance involved with buying a new home – especially your first home. It can be as thrilling and fulfilling as it is chaotic and confusing. However, in the excitement of choosing a new place, it’s important not to get so caught up that you make or miss a decision that could cause you distress in the future. Be aware of the following common mistakes:
1. Falling in Love
Don’t fall in love with the home too early! Or, at the very least, don’t let on that you may have. The more you show how enamored you are with a place, the less likely a seller is to come down on a price. Further, your love for a home may blind or distract you from problems. Be discerning and objective.
2. Trusting or Choosing a Bad Real Estate Agent
Just like an athlete hires an agent to put them in a lucrative contract, you need to choose an agent who will put you into a quality home. Not all agents are the same and compatibility is crucial. If one is giving you a bad vibe, look elsewhere – this person will be helping you pick out a place you will be living in for, potentially, the next few decades and you should be absolutely confident in their ability and desire to work for your best interests. It’s also important to remember that if you’re dealing with an agent you didn’t choose, that agent is most likely working on the seller’s behalf. When in doubt, ask for referrals from friends and family!
3. Forgetting About Additional/Hidden Costs
There are a number of taxes and fees that inflate the final selling price to something much larger than the advertised price. Potential fees include the appraisal fee, inspection fee, homeowners insurance, notary fee – the list goes on. Not being prepared for these can be a real shock to your budget.
4. Not Researching Peripheral Factors
That’s really just a fancy way of reminding you to look into the neighborhood and surrounding areas – demographics, schools, businesses, property values. This includes varied trips to the neighborhood. Any home that becomes a serious contender should be visited multiple times (on the weekend, during the week, at night, in the day). Talk to neighbors and become as familiar with the area as possible, after all you may be living here. The more aware you are of the neighborhood’s quirks, the less likely you are to be surprised by something like a neighbor’s skittish, yipping Chihuahua.
5. Ignoring Resale Value
A huge appeal to having your own place is choosing unique characteristics that cater to your specific tastes and having the freedom to decorate and modify as you wish. Don’t forget, though, not everyone may share your tastes and if a time comes when you should choose to sell, you want a home that appeals to as large a pool of potential buyers as possible. Obviously it’s nobody’s business but your own how you style your abode, but be aware how your choices will affect your investment.
6. Skipping an Inspection
They’re not always required, but that doesn’t mean they’re not recommended. A house can harbor a plethora of problems too subtle or specialized for the average shopper to detect – plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, etc. An inspector can spot these issues prior to you making a purchase leaving you the option to negotiate a lower price with the seller or require repairs. Buying a home without an inspection is a gamble though, as any issues that turn up after you purchase the property become your responsibility.
Above all, be perceptive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about your potential home the more likely you’ll be confident & comfortable making it your future home.
Please feel free to share this information with your friends and family!