Buying your first house can be an exciting and stressful time. There are so many things to consider that you can find yourself getting overwhelmed. Here are some common mistakes first-time homebuyers make when they are looking to buy a house.
They don't get pre-approved.
Before you go out looking for a house, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of what you can spend and what neighbourhoods you can look in. You don't want to get your heart set on a place that you just can't afford. Getting pre-approved will ensure that you are able to get a mortgage when you find someplace that you like - rather than looking without a guideline.
They don't work with a buyer's real estate agent.
There are open houses all the time that you can look at, and some people think that's all they need to to find a house. That isn't necessarily true. Having a real estate agent that you work with is very important. That real estate agent will act as your representative. They can make sure you are paying a fair price and that you're getting a house that is best suited for your needs. They can also help you avoid wasting time by showing you neighbourhoods that are appropriate for you.
They always look for something brand-new.
Brand-new homes are nice. They are updated with all of the features that a homebuyer is looking for, but that also comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Often you end up spending less money if you buy a house that needs fixing up and do the renovations yourself. Try to recognize the potential in the house.
They get too emotionally invested in one particular home.
So you've found a home that you like and you want to buy; that's good. It's important to remember though that buying a house is a negotiation. If you're too emotionally invested in a particular house, you might make bad choices and end up paying more for the home than you should. Loving a house doesn't guarantee that you'll end up buying it. Your offer might not get accepted. Someone else might make an offer before you. Don't let that dissuade you from continuing to look. There is a house for everyone, and you'll find the right one for you.
They are unwilling to compromise on the little things.
Maybe you want granite countertops or hardwood floors. These are all updates you can do later. When you look at a house, look at the bare bones of it.
They spend too much.
Just because you got a mortgage for a certain amount doesn't mean you have to spend that entire amount. You have to consider the other expenses that will go into your home after you buy it. You don't want to end up house poor.
They don't take into consideration closing costs.
There are fees associated with buying a house. You need to take this into account and make sure you have the cash to pay those fees.
They skip the home inspection.
That's always a big mistake. Sometimes something really big could be wrong with a house that you can't see yourself. That's why you should always get a home inspection. A good home inspector will let you know whether the property is truly worth what is being asked and will give you a heads up about repairs that might need to be done in the future.
They don't check out the neighbourhood.
Walk around during the day and look at the other houses in the neighborhood. Are they well-maintained? Are there a lot of rental houses in the area? Talk to some of the people who live in the area. Read up on the crime rates. If you have children, find out about the school in the area. Don't just drive around the neighbourhood during the day, drive around at night too.
They assume the market will keep going up.
Don't assume that your house will go up in value. Markets can rise, but they can also fall. Don't bet your whole future on your house being worth more than it was when you bought it when you are finally ready to sell.
If you avoid these common mistakes you'll have a better chance at buying a nice house in a good neighborhood.