Searching for a home is an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. Avoiding real estate missteps can help you avoid unnecessary stress and financial burdens. Whether you’re buying your first or fifth home, keep these five common mistakes in mind during your search.
1) Letting charm fool you
You might fall in love and see yourself living in that charming old home, but be wary of issues you might not see. You’ll need to be prepared for repairs, upgrades and remodeling. Be sure to have a thorough inspection completed and consider negotiating a long due-diligence period.
2) Guessing how much you can afford
When it comes to financing, don’t rely on online calculators. Buyers are often surprised when lenders will not qualify them for the amount they had in mind. Nowadays, lenders are reading applications more closely, verifying employment and running multiple credit checks before they issue approval.
3) House-hunting on your own
With so many house-listing websites available online, many buyers assume they don’t need the help of a real estate agent. A real estate agent does more than just find listings…they know the ins and outs of the market and can walk you through each stage. When you don’t know what’s best or have important questions, your agent is your go-to expert.
4) Not thinking like a seller
Always be thinking about the future in terms of your new house. Maybe you love to ride your bike everywhere and don’t need a garage, but consider the disadvantage of not having an important feature like that when you are on the other side of the transaction. Make sure your home has good potential to sell to someone other than yourself.
5) Chasing deals
We all want to get the most for our money. However, lowball offers can cost you the house of your dreams just for the sake of a “deal.” Also, don’t wait until the market rises only because you’re waiting for a steal. You could end up paying much more in the long run!