Taking a careful, measured approach to buying a home can help you prevent possible trouble down the road. Here are some common homebuying mistakes that can be easily avoided.
Buying With Your Heart
Falling in love with a home can be wonderful – if it’s the right home for you. But it’s important to identify your priorities before you start house hunting. For example, parents of school-age children may favor a house in a good school district versus one with shiny new appliances. Once you’ve differentiated your wants from your needs, you can turn to your budget.
Getting in Over Your Head
Homebuyers should be realistic about their incomes and expenses. Seeking mortgage pre-approval can help clarify what you can afford. A good mortgage consultant will go over the full cost of buying property, including monthly payments, closing costs, taxes, insurance and personal mortgage insurance, which is required if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the sales price. It’s important to consider your lifestyle, too.
A Fixer-Upper, You Say?
Fixer-uppers can be enticing because they usually have relatively low listing prices. Ask yourself whether you’re truly prepared to tackle whatever the home needs. Think about your DIY prowess, the cost of each project and whether you’ll be able to realistically finish them as quickly as you’d like.
Neglecting an Inspection
A home inspection is invaluable. Homebuyers should attend the inspection and pay close attention to the inspector. Carefully read the inspection report and seriously consider any recommendations. Buyers can ask sellers to make repairs or take money off the sale price based on inspection findings.
Knowing Your Liabilities
Does it cost more to insure a home that has an in-ground pool? Maybe. The only way to know is to talk to an insurance agent. Doing so before buying a home can help identify what features could influence your insurance costs and how to limit your expenses and exposure.
Going it Alone
Many real estate agents are involved in more closings every month than a typical homebuyer is in a lifetime. Hiring a licensed real estate agent to look out for your interests can be helpful avoiding some of the pitfalls on this list.
Do you have other homebuying tips to share with readers? Leave us a comment!