Buying a home can be a confusing process. Especially if you don't know where to start. Here are 6 of the most common mistakes that home Buyer's make, and more importantly how to avoid making them yourself.
1. Not Getting Pre-Approved Before You Shop
If you don't know your budget, you might fall in love with a home you can't afford. In order to protect yourself from heartbreak, get a pre-approval from your bank or a mortgage broker. These professionals will be able to help you determine what you can spend when purchasing a home and what you can afford for a monthly payment. Once you have a pre-approval you are considered a "Qualified Buyer", this is more appealing to home sellers when you go to place an offer.
2. Not Getting Professional Advice
There is a whirlwind of information available online, but how do you know what is accurate? Each city and even neighborhood is different. This is why you need a professional Realtor to help you navigate through the home buying process. Make sure that you are working with someone who can be honest with you and also has your best interest at heart.
*Bonus: Sometimes Realtors have or know of properties they can access before they are even brought to market, allowing you the chance to see them before anyone else does and avoid possible competition.
3. Not Making an Informed Offer
A common mistake for home buyers is letting their emotions take over and cause a buyer to overpay because they love the home. The offer price should reflect the market value of the home, this is something your Realtor should be helping you to determine. Ideally, after the deal has been negotiated, both the Buyer and the Seller should feel as if they have won! This is where a real estate pro really comes in handy.
4. "Missing the Forest for the Trees"
What do we mean by that? You could call it "Missing the House for the Finishes". Often home buyers are in awe when they walk into a beautiful home. This can cause them to overlook details that may be problematic. This could be details within the home (old furnace, poor workmanship etc.), or it could mean that they neglect to take into account other factors such as yard or neighborhood. The advice: slow down, look closer and don't forget about all of the other factors. Also don't rule out homes that have cosmetic details that can easily be changed (there may be better value in those homes).
5. Bringing More Emotion than Logic to the Process
Don't fall so far in love with a home that you become emotionally invested in the purchase. Just like we mentioned before, if you fall so in love with a home that you will do anything to get the property, you may end up overpaying. In doing so you may be subjecting yourself to buyer's remorse down the road. Stay level headed and have a Real Estate professional to help provide you with logic throughout the process.
6. Making Large Purchases or Applying For Credit Before You Close
If you are in the market to buy a home, or if you have already purchased a home but it hasn't closed yet... DO NOT MAKE ANY LARGE PURCHASES. Buying a car, purchasing furniture on credit or applying for loans can drastically effect your mortgage pre-approval, financing and make a pretty big mess. Once you have closed on your home, then you can plan your next large purchase.
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it's time to learn more about how to get started!