5 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Buying a home is a big decision and if you’re a first time home buyer all of the unknowns can be downright overwhelming. Avoid these common mistakes that often occur when purchasing your first home.

Not Understanding What You Can Afford- getting pre-approved should be one of your first steps once you’ve decided you want to purchase a home. Your loan officer will take a look at your finances and determine what you can afford. This doesn’t mean you have to purchase a home that’s equal to the maximum amount you qualify for but, it does mean that you’ll know your buying power once you’re pre-approved. You don’t want to tour homes and risk finding out later that you can’t purchase one you’ve fallen in love with because it’s out of your affordability range. Choose your loan officer based on recommendations from your Realtor®, family and friends. They're an integral part of the home buying process.

Not Hiring A Realtor®- purchasing a home is not only a big decision and extremely large investment it’s also a complicated and detailed process. Learning about different neighborhoods and what they have to offer to finding the home you want to purchase is just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll be signing a legally binding contract that has multiple deadlines to meet and contingencies to fulfill. Hire a local expert that you feel comfortable with and trust to guide you through the process. Going at a home purchase alone is opening yourself up to both financial and legal risks. Not all agents are created equal and selecting the right one to represent you is imperative.

Buying Based On Emotion- yes, you should feel emotion towards the home you are purchasing but, making a decision to offer on a home based on emotions such as you’re tight on time, there isn’t much inventory to select from, or because there are other offers on the property are not the right emotions to base a home purchase around. Rely on your agent to provide you with neighborhood information, comparable homes that have sold, and trust your instincts. You will know when you’ve found the one – all home buyers get a certain feeling when they’ve found the right home and only then should you start talking about an offer.

Not Having A Home Inspection- always…and we do mean always get a home inspection. Even if you’re in a multiple offer situation and trying to strengthen your contract you can make the home inspection for information only vs. waiving it all together. That way, you’re protected if a major problem is found. Waiving the home inspection is a very risky decision and not one we recommend. Even if you’re purchasing a new construction home, have your own inspection completed.

Not Accounting for Home Maintenance Costs- becoming a homeowner is an exciting and rewarding time but, it also comes with responsibility to maintain your investment. Deferred maintenance costs far more than routine maintenance. Be sure to allocate money each month for home maintenance and/or repairs. Once you become a homeowner if something breaks or needs maintenance it will all fall under your budget. Saving money each month will put you on the right path to always being prepared when your home needs some extra attention.