The more experience you have with buying real estate, the more you’ll learn about the complicated process. Between the confusing terminology and the logistics of buying a house, it’s all-too-easy to make the wrong move or wind up in an unwise investment. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, skip the buyer’s remorse by learning about some of the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
1. Not Getting Pre-Approved Before You Shop
The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a house you can’t afford! To prevent that, one of the first things you should do is get pre-approved for a mortgage. You need to know what you can afford and what the monthly payments look like. A good mortgage broker will figure this out for you. And while a bank will usually pre-approve you for a higher amount, you don’t want to overextend yourself. Be realistic about what you can actually afford. When you go to make an offer on a house, you’ll also be a stronger buyer because you’re pre-approved.
2. Not Seeking Advice From an Experienced Professional
Even though there is so much information available online, you should still seek the advice of an experienced professional early on in the home-buying process. Realtors educate people about the process, who they need to consult if they need an attorney when they’ll have to have their down payment ready. Sometimes real estate agents have access to a property before it even goes on the market. Finding a real estate agent to work with is important, but take your time finding someone who’s a good match for your personality and preferences.
3. Not Making an Informed Offer
A common home-buying mistake is letting your emotions dictate the offer. Instead, only make an offer if you’re really serious about buying a property and make sure it’s based on comparable sales, rather than just how much you like the house. Ultimately the price should reflect the market value of the home. The ideal negotiation is when the buyer and seller both feel like they’ve won. The negotiations between your opening offer and your ideal number is where working with a real estate pro really comes in handy.
4. Not Being Able to See the House Past Its Appearances
This is potentially a two-pronged issue and both can be problematic. This first scenario is finding a house that is updated with beautiful finishes, fixtures and is decorated beautifully. People get so busy looking at superficial details and forget about things that they can’t change about the house like the location, the yard, or that it’s on a busy road. Shoppers may overlook a home that needs some paint and cosmetic updates, but that has great bones and a good location. When shopping for a house, keep in mind both cosmetic details that can be altered, as well as those that are expensive or impossible to fix.
5. Making Buying a House an Emotional Rather Than a Business Decision
You never want to fall so in love with a house that you’re emotionally invested in the purchase. If you love it so much that you feel like you’ll do anything to get a property, you can end up overpaying for the home, which can lead to buyer’s remorse and feeling like you didn’t get the best deal. The buying process is emotional enough, and that’s why you want someone on your side that can keep your emotions in check through the close. We’ve seen deals fall apart from something as small as a missing light fixture! Stay levelheaded and remember that this is a serious commitment that you’ll have to live with for years to come.
Credits: Real Simple