Buying your first home is a scary yet exciting decision – and one that requires a lot of thought. If you want to make the right choices, it might help to know which pitfalls to watch out for. Here are the 5 common mistakes first-time homebuyers make (and how you can avoid them):
Not exploring your options
It’s not unusual for buyers to rush to make an offer on the first home that impresses them. While understandable, it’s not the smartest move to make. Take time to explore your options. Keep looking around for other homes that will suit your wants, needs, and budget.
Also consider other factors like: the home’s proximity to schools/work, transportation lines, services, etc.; the neighborhood’s average busyness and noise levels; access to green/open spaces, and so on. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, weigh each home’s advantages and disadvantages.
Not getting a mortgage pre-approval
Before you even start looking for homes, you should first know what your budget is. You can do this by getting a mortgage pre-approval from a bank/lender. They will assess your financial preparedness by looking at your credit score, income, existing debts, and so on. A pre-approval can provide a relatively accurate estimate of how much house you can afford. It also indicates to sellers that you’re a serious buyer who already has financing lined up.
Not factoring in other costs
The price of the home itself is not the only expenditure to prepare for. Quite a few first-time homebuyers forget to take into consideration the other fees and costs that come with buying and owning a home. These include the closing costs, property taxes, home insurance, maintenance and repair costs, HOA dues, utilities, and so on. Don’t take out a mortgage that doesn’t leave room for anything else in your budget – a good rule of thumb to follow is to keep your monthly mortgage payments at no more than 25-30% of your take-home pay.
Skipping the home inspection
Even the most beautiful homes could be hiding a problem or two, whether it’s a leaky roof to an unseen mold infestation, so do not take a home at face value. You will want to find out about all potential deal-breakers as early as you can, so hire a professional home inspector to get a close look at a home before you make an offer.
They will inspect the home and provide you with a report on their findings. Depending on the results, you will have several options: (1) accept the issues and try to negotiate the price down; (2) request the seller to make the necessary repairs; or (3) walk away from the deal.
Looking for a home on your own
Do not rely completely on online listings and home buying guides. Sure, these can help, but you will definitely need a professional’s expertise for such a life-changing investment. An experienced real estate agent will not only help you find your future home, but they will also be right by your side as you navigate your way through the home buying process. You are assured of a stress-free experience from getting a mortgage pre-approval to handling tough negotiations and closing the deal.
Are you looking for new homes in Kathleen, GA? The real estate team at Wingate Custom Homes can help you find the home of your dreams. Give them a call today at 478.322.0028 or send them an email at lee(dotted)wingatecustomhomes(at)gmail(dotted)com.