The home search and buying process can be both exciting and a little nerve-racking. A step in the wrong direction or a simple mistake could cost you the house of your dreams–that’s a lot of pressure.
Don’t stress! We’ve put together a list of things you should avoid doing when hunting for and buying a new home. Some commonly made mistakes have cost people big time.
Avoid these common mistakes people make while searching for and buying a home.
1. DON’T mess with your credit.
Before you dive right into the house buying process, it’s important to take a step back and check your credit report.
The cleaner the report and the higher the score, the more likely you are to be preapproved for a mortgage at a low-interest rate.
A few months before you begin house hunting, review your credit report. Make sure it is correct and take care of any mistakes before a mortgage lender checks your credit.
Buying a car, getting behind on loan payments, applying for a new credit card and closing credit accounts can all be red flags on your report and reflect poorly on your score. Wait until the buying process is over if possible!
2. DON’T wait to get pre-approved.
Get pre-approved by a qualified lender before you start your home search. This will give you a better idea of what you can afford allowing you to narrow your house hunt.
Your lender will need a copy of your W-2s, pay stubs, and bank and brokerage statements in order to begin the approval process.
3. DON’T do it alone.
You’re about to make one of the biggest purchases of your life. Don’t make it alone.
Find a Realtor® to help you navigate the home buying process. Their industry expertise and guidance throughout the buying process will save you both time, money, and frustration in the end.
4. DON’T pick a Realtor® you aren’t comfortable with.
On that same note, find a Realtor® you trust and are comfortable working with.
A good Realtor® will have your best interest in mind, show you homes that fit your needs, and help with negotiating in the bidding process. You should feel confident that your agent is doing their best to help you find your dream home. Have you met our team?
5. DON’T forget the hidden costs of buying a home.
When determining how much you’re willing to spend on a new home, it’s important to consider more than just the price tag on a house.
Many buyers forget about the “hidden costs” associated with buying a house. Watch out for closing costs, appraisal fees, escrow fees, home inspection and wood destroying insect inspection costs, homeowners insurance fees, property taxes, the costs of repairs and maintenance, and anything else that might sneak up on your wallet.
Set aside a part of your budget specifically for these costs so you won’t be left scrambling for cash when they come up.
6. DON’T think you’re going to find everything on your list.
You’ve fantasized about the perfect house–a front porch that wraps around to the back, mahogany-stained hardwood floors, granite countertops, spacious master bedroom with a walk-in closet—but really are you to find all of these things in one home?
Wishlists are great to have when looking for particular aspects of a house, but don’t expect to find every single thing on your list all in one house.
Try going into each house with an open mind. If you can’t find a house with everything on your list, be flexible and compromise. The goal is to afford everything you need and a few things you want. Who knows, maybe you’ll get it all, but it’s better not to set your expectations too high.
7. DON’T neglect protection clauses in the contract.
Don’t sign anything until you are completely sure your interests are protected. It’s a smart idea to request additional clauses in your contract to protect those interests. Once the contract has been signed, the only way to make changes to it is to end the existing contract and renegotiate a new one. You’ll want to avoid this because the seller doesn’t have to agree to your new requests.
As a first-time home buyer, there’s a lot you can do to prepare for the buying process. Knowing the mistakes commonly made during the buying process is one way, but Downloading our Free First-Time Home-Buying Guide: Top Questions Your Realtor Will Ask is another. What are you waiting for? Get yours today.