Buying a home is likely one of the largest investments you will make. While the process is exciting, there are some common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make. To ensure buying your home is a good process, here are some things to keep in mind.
Know what you can afford. Just because that mortgage calculator says you can afford a mortgage doesn’t always mean you can afford to own a home. Ensure you calculate the additional expenses that come with owning a home such as maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and sometimes higher utility bills. Once you know what you can afford, it’s important to stick to your budget. Avoid looking at homes outside of your price range – it will only cause frustration or worse, may cause you to purchase over your budget.
Start with a pre-approval. This is a crucial step in the home-buying process. You’ve determined a budget, but your financial institution may disagree, so it’s important to get a pre-approval before you begin looking at houses. While a pre-approval isn’t a guarantee of a loan, your financial institution will verify your income, assets, and credit score which will then give you a good foundation for home-shopping.
Don’t be too picky. Remember that your first home likely won’t be your forever home. You should create a list of needs and wants, but keep in mind you may have to make a few compromises. Identify which items on your list are truly deal breakers and focus on those.
Don’t skip a professional’s help. Realtors® have a wealth of knowledge regarding the local housing market and communities, know how to negotiate for you, and adhere to a strict code of ethics. They’ll be on your team throughout the entire buying process and since agents are compensated by the seller, there’s really no reason to do it alone.
Don’t become emotionally invested. It’s not hard to walk into a house and imagine your furniture or cooking breakfast on a Saturday morning and feel like you’ve found the home of your dreams. You should be excited about the prospect of owning a home, but also reasonable. Don’t allow your emotions to cloud your judgment and overlook any imperfections with the property. There are a number of things that could cause a sale to fall through, such as issues found during a home inspection. Try to keep a level head until all conditions are removed.