10 Deadly Mistakes Home Buyers Make When Purchasing A Home
1. Limiting your search to open houses, the internet or ads.
Many of the homes listed in magazines or on the internet have already been sold. Unfortunately they are not updated as they should be, or are left there as a means of enticing you to call. The best way to gain the most accurate and timely information is to contact a Realtor. They are connected directly to the MLS and also may have knowledge of future listings that will be coming onto the market. This type of insight and information is not available to the general public.
2. Not considering your long-term needs.
When you buy a home you are investing your money. Think ahead and formulate a plan for 3-5 years. Then decide on what type of home will fulfill those needs.
3. Making an offer on a home without being prequalified for a mortgage.
A prequalification will make this process much easier, and home sellers will take your offer more seriously. Take the time to speak with a mortgage lender. They will ask you specific questions regarding your income and debt and help you determine what price range you can afford. It is much better to know ahead of time than to fall in love with something and be disappointed that it is beyond your financial reach.
4. Not choosing a real estate agent who is committed to forming a strong business relationship with you.
Making a connection with the right Realtor is a crucial step. Your needs and interests are protected. When buying a home you need an advocate in your corner. For tips and ideas on how to find the right Realtor for you read my Blog Post.
5. Setting your "perfect home" parameters too narrow.
Shopping for a home is a process of elimination. If your "must have's" is a list that is too specific, you may be missing out on other things you may not have considered. A home search should be fairly broad including specific towns or areas, number of beds & baths, basement/no basement, ranch or two story. From those results you can peruse the listings and by all means have your agent take you to see them in person. Photos rarely do a home justice; positively and negatively.
6. Not considering the resale value and insurance issues.
Sometimes home buyers fall in love with aspects of a property but never consider the time in the future when they will want to sell. Also some properties require additional insurance that will have an impact on your monthly bottom line. I have two articles that explain some very important factors to consider when investing your money.
Invest Wisely When Buying A Home and Buyers Beware of Incurable Defects
7. Not understanding the buying process and the total costs involved.
It is important to educate yourself on the buying process. Be sure to ask your Realtor to thoroughly explain it to you. Do not assume you know what to expect, even if you have purchased a home before. Change is inevitable in any industry; real estate is no exception.
- What is involved in making an offer?
- What happens when contracts are signed?
- How much money do I need to put down?
- What will my closing costs be?
- How much will a home inspector cost?
- Will I need a real estate attorney?
- If you are buying a condo or townhouse are there Homeowner Association transfer fees?
8. Not opting for a home inpection.
Not having a home inspectionin on a property in which you are investing your money and planning to live, is like packing your suitcase for a trip with no idea of where to go. It may seem exciting especially if you consider yourself handy. But it is most important to know if the home you have fallen in love with is structurally sound and all systems are working as they should before you make a long term committment. Home inspections also serve to educate you about the home. There are enough surprises in life. Arm yourself with information.
9. Not buying a home protection plan.
Many homes on the market today offer a home protection as an buyer incentive. If one is not offered that doesn't mean you cannot buy one yourself. In fact, it is a good idea to purchase a home warranty protection plan for at least the first yearr you are in the home. They are not expensive and will warranty the appliances and systems of the home. There is even a rider available if the home has a pool. You have plenty of expenses the first year you live in a new home. With a home warranty if something breaks you only have to pay a minimal deductible. Ask your Realtor for information, and consider your options.
10. Not making yourself readily available to your Realtor.
The process of buying a home requires many conversations from searching, to showings, to making an offer, and all the way through to closing. Very often these communications are time sensitive. If you are not able to speak directly with your agent during work hours, at least check your voicemail and email and try to respond as quickly as possible. It could mean the difference between getting what you want or missing out. Also the best way to communicate is by voice. Texting leaves too much open for interpretation. This transaction is too important to risk misunderstandings.