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Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Home

Updated: Apr 26


1. Giving the Budget a Blind Eye Ignoring or failing to establish a firm budget will definitely come back to bite you. Create a realistic budget based on what’s most comfortable for you. Calculate your household income, debts, and current expenses. Account for the cost of homeowners insurance, property taxes, and HOA fees, too. Then, only search for homes within your budget. This prevents you from falling in love with a property you can’t afford right now.

2. Not Using a Real Estate Agent Ignoring or failing to establish a firm budget will definitely come back to bite you. Create a realistic budget based on what’s most comfortable for you. Calculate your household income, debts, and current expenses. Account for the cost of homeowners insurance, property taxes, and HOA fees, too. Then, only search for homes within your budget. This prevents you from falling in love with a property you can’t afford right now.

3. Taking the First Mortgage Loan Offered Ignoring or failing to establish a firm budget will definitely come back to bite you. Create a realistic budget based on what’s most comfortable for you. Calculate your household income, debts, and current expenses. Account for the cost of homeowners insurance, property taxes, and HOA fees, too. Then, only search for homes within your budget. This prevents you from falling in love with a property you can’t afford right now.

4. Rushing the Process Now is not the time to be hasty. Buying a home is a huge decision, so it’s normal to feel pressure. But find a home at your own pace. You’d hate to rush through the process and pick a house only to find out that it’s not actually what you want, or worse, what you need. Try to start looking well in advance of when you need to buy. That way you can take the time to look at multiple properties and consider every important factor.

5. Getting the Location Wrong Everyone dreams about the features they want in a house, but many forget about the location. While you think about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, make a list of what you need in a home location. Consider distance from work, schools, public transportation, your favorite restaurants and entertainment, parks and outdoor activities, and more. Be sure to also look at property value projections for the area to make sure it’s a solid investment.

6. Only Seeing the Home Online 3-D walkthroughs and high-def photos are great, but they don’t allow you to feel what it’s like to be in the home and in the neighborhood. Plus, a home doesn’t look exactly the same in person as it does in the listing. Visiting a property in person is an essential part of the buying process. When you go to open houses or tour houses by appointment, you get to listen to the house, find the little quirks or deal-breakers that you wouldn’t otherwise notice, and get a feel for the colors, lighting, and textures in the home, too. All this helps you better see yourself living there.

7. Waiving the Inspection Inspections are an important investment in the homebuying process, and you should ALWAYS opt to have one done. These professionals can give you a better idea of serious issues you’ll need to fix before or upon moving in, alert you to problems you’ll have to address in the future, or things you’ve never even thought about. You may be good at finding cracks in foundations or creaky floors, but home inspectors are much better.

8. Taking on More Debt Before Closing Do not take on more debt before the deal is completely done! Your mortgage is based on your debt-to-income ratio at the time of your quote. If your debt-to-income ratio goes up, you could lose your loan offer because your DTI disqualifies you for that offer’s rate. So, avoid taking on new debts until after you close. Hold off on buying a vehicle or other property, financing big events like weddings, or making big purchases like furniture and appliances. That way you’re not accruing more debt.

9. Forgetting to Budget for Closing Costs Many people focus on saving for a down payment, but they often forget about closing costs. Don’t let these costs sneak up on you — save for closing costs such as attorney fees, prorated property taxes, homeowners insurance, title insurance, escrow fees, lender fees, and appraisal fees. Even if the seller picks up the closing costs, it’s nice to know you have that money set aside just in case.

10. Not Reading the Contract Before You Sign Purchase contracts are long and complex, but it’s important that you review the contract closely. Ask your agent to go over the offer documents with you. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into with the terms and conditions of your mortgage and the sale itself. Ask your agent and lender any questions that come up.

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