Are you looking to buy a home? Purchasing your own home is one of the biggest financial decisions in your life. Since it is a major investment that requires thorough planning, it is crucial for buyers to take the time to get the necessary information, know more about the real estate market and to personally assess one’s financial capacity to see if you can already afford to purchase your own home and if ever know which property best suits your needs.
It’s very rare to find a buyer who didn’t make mistakes during their home buying process. Buying a home can come with its fair share of challenges. It can be quite messy! But, give this article a read and I promise to make the experience a little smoother for you. Or text, email, call or message me on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll chat! I’m here and eager to help!
So let’s get to it. To avoid costly mistakes that could cause you financial and even emotional distress, here are 15 Mistakes you want to AVOID making as a home buyer.
MISTAKE #1: Not Knowing What You Want
Buying a house can be likened to shopping for a specific item in a store. Last week, I went shopping for a dress. I had no mental picture in mind of what I was looking for. I just knew I wanted a dress to wear to a friend’s party. That’s it. Think I came home with anything? Nope! (well, I did come home with something – chocolates, couldn’t resist! Oh, and a couple new tops for spring). You get the point though right? When buying a house, it is very important that you have in mind what you want and what you need. When you do not know what you want, you will likely waste time and money and possibly regret possibly regret your choices later.
MISTAKE #2: Not Planning Your Purchase
If for instance you have finally decided that you want to purchase your own home, it does not stop there. You need to be financially capable in paying for your mortgages. Many fail to plan their purchase and this can be a big burden especially when you shoulder a lot of expenses and costs.
MISTAKE #3: Failure to List Down Priorities
With a wide range of choices presented to you, it is very important that you list your priorities down. What are the important things that you are not willing to compromise on? This may vary from one buyer to another. Some buyers place high importance on the price while others may place a higher priority on the structure of the house or the neighbourhood.
MISTAKE #4: Getting Too Emotional
Buying a house can be quite an emotional experience. It’s arguably one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. So it’s understandable that your feelings can run astray and you could easily attach yourself to a house that may have problems or issues you didn’t take time to properly consider. Or you could easily find yourself spending more than you can afford. So it’s important to keep those emotions in check during the home buying process. Buy mostly with your head and not your heart!
As a realtor, I listen to my client’s heart but I can also be a stabilizing force when it comes to their emotions. I help ensure that they buy a home that melts their heart yet is a sound real estate investment.
MISTAKE #5: Not Using a Real Estate Agent
You might think it’s no big deal to check out homes for sale on your own. But it is and doing this can easily set you back thousands of dollars.
A good real estate buyer agent is equipped with the knowledge and skills and expertise to guide you through the entire home buying process. They will also be able to offer you guidance to help you find the right house and to negotiate a price that takes market data into consideration. The real estate buyer agent is there to guide you through the searching, negotiating and closing process.
So don’t sell yourself short. Get a realtor!
MISTAKE #6: Not Doing Research
Today, it is relatively much easier to get almost any piece of information that you need. With just one click, you can search and filter a property based on price range, kind of structure, location, and other features. Take time to research and to go into the specific details of the property so you can assess if it suits your criteria and other requirements.
MISTAKE #7: Not Weighing Your Choices
Even if you are finally eyeing this one house that has truly caught your attention, you still need to have other choices. In that way, you can weigh and assess your options and you have point of comparison. It is definitely better to have choices and later on, pick the best property that suits your budget range and personal preferences.
MISTAKE #8: Focusing Too Much on Timing
For sure, you have heard from others about timing, the trend of the real estate market and all that. Although there is really a good time to purchase a property and now is the time to do it especially when experts have projected positive forecast for the market, you should not focus too much on the right time. The perfect time is when you have finally found the property you are looking for and you have the financial capability to pay for it.
MISTAKE #9: Focusing Too Much on a Wish List
Almost any home buyer has their own wish list from the physical design to other factors. And in as much as you have your own concept of dream home, when you are presented with the choices and given the constraints, what you have in mind might be slightly different from what is available and feasible to your budget. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a wish list. Please do have a wish list or a checklist of what you want or need in a property. But know that it is almost impossible to find a property that perfectly satisfies your wish list. So try and be flexible, without compromising on the non-negotiable items on your list.
MISTAKE #10: Buying Based On Emotion
Buying a house is not like simply purchasing any product. This is a huge investment decision and responsibility. You cannot select a house and make the decision to purchase based on impulse and emotions. To avoid the pitfall of experiencing financial troubles in the long run, you should always look at things objectively by assessing the property based on your checklist of priorities and criteria.
MISTAKE #11: Buying What You Cannot Afford
It is a big mistake to buy a home you cannot afford. This will likely stretch you thin financially, likely affecting other areas of your life. And it’s an easy mistake to make. Once you start shopping around for a new home, you will likely see homes that are at the upper range of your affordability range, and in some cases beyond your affordability range. There is a temptation to vow to ‘make it work.’
But keep in mind that you will certainly have additional costs once you buy your home. These can include repairs, furnishings, renovations, or new appliances.
Take the time to determine what you can really afford. Take into consideration your household expenses, transportation, utilities, food, insurance, travel, entertainment and general lifestyle. And be realistic!
MISTAKE #12: Comprising on Important Things
For instance, you have finally found the house you want to purchase and it fits your checklist. Before you have your final decision, make sure that you do not compromise on important things like the quality of the house, location and surrounding environment. For example, you would not want to get a house strictly based on aesthetic value alone.
MISTAKE #13: Incurring More Costs
Preparing for your house purchase is a huge financial decision. So, you need to be especially careful when it comes to managing your finances. Keep in mind that lenders will look at your credit profile and history, in particular they will look at your debt to income ratio. The DTI or the debt to income ratio is a finance measure that compares the debt payment of an individual and his aggregate income. As much as possible, avoid incurring unnecessary and huge expenses before and during the home buying process.
MISTAKE #14: Lack of Vision
When buying a property, you do not just consider what you need now but also what you will need in the upcoming years. You need to look at your house not just as a nice and comfortable shelter but also as an investment. Ask yourself, is this property worth the purchase? Does it have a good value for investment?
MISTAKE #15: Neglecting Other Costs
The cost of buying the property does not represent the entire costs you have to pay for. Allot budget for contingency, indirect and other costs that you might incur. For instance, you may have to pay for maintenance costs, repair costs, insurance, etc.
By knowing the common mistakes that buyers make, you are more aware and cautious so you can find ways to avoid them. The entire process of getting the best deal and a value for money property does not have to be that difficult especially when you are fully prepared.
I’m confident reading this will save you time, money, and even heartache as you set off on your home buying journey.
Don’t forget I’m here to help!
What mistakes here are you determined NOT to make? Been a home buyer before? If you don’t mind, would you share a mistake you made to help our home buyers? Thank you for being so generous in sharing!