6 Mistakes To Avoid As A Home Buyer
Buying a home is a very exciting step in life. It is not without it’s challenges, though. Mortgage approval, finding the right agent,searching for the ideal home that meets your needs, and keeping your budget on track are some of the challenges any home buyer must face before they become a homeowner.
With a little knowledge up-front, home buyers can not only avoid costly mistakes, but can shop with confidence and keep their home-buying experience a happy one. Here are some common home buyer mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1 – Not checking your credit score beforehand
Lenders use your FICO credit score to determine your level of credit risk. How high, or how low, your FICO score is will impact how much money you qualify for, your interest rate, and often your insurance rate. Some buyers may need to spend up to a year saving more money, increasing their incomes or cleaning up their credit before making an offer on a home. Make sure to get pre-approved for a loan before you start looking at properties.
Mistake #2 – Not Creating – and Sticking To – A Budget
It’s important that you make sure you can afford a home on a long-term basis, before you sign the contract. Without first figuring out how much house you can afford, you risk falling in love with one you can’t truly afford which can put you in the dangerous position of trying to stretch beyond your means financially or cause you to feel unsatisfied with what you actually can afford.
Mistake #3 – Not Determining What You Want and Need From Your Home
There’s a big difference between needs and wants – create a list of “must haves”, “would likes”, and “definately don’t wants”. Don’t just think about what you need now, consider what your needs may be a few years from now. Your aim is to be able to afford everything you need—as well as some items you want—all while staying within a long-term budget. Share your list with your agent so they can help narrow down inventory and find homes that best match your needs.
Related article: Buying A Home – House Hunting Tips
Mistake #4 – Overlooking the Neighborhood
You may be living in your dream home, but if your neighborhood’s a nightmare, you’re certainly not going to enjoy your new home. Visit the various neighborhoods you are considering. Plan to visit on weekdays and weekends and at different times of the day. It matters. Do you like the neighborhood? Does it have the amenities you want? Good schools? A convenient commute to work? Your new neighborhood will be a part of your daily life, you want to be sure that you will be satisfied with not only your new home but life in your new neighborhood as well.
Mistake #5 – Foregoing a Home Inspection
Potetial home buyer may be tempted to skip the home inspection to save some money. The home inspection is possibly the most important part of the home buying transaction so invest in a good home inspector to avoid having to deal with costly issues later.
Related article: How Important Is A Home Inspection?
Mistake #6 – Failing to Consider Additional Expenses
Once you’re a homeowner, you’ll have additional expenses on top of your monthly payment. Unlike when you were a renter, you’ll be responsible for paying property taxes, insuring your home against disasters and making any repairs the house needs which will occasionally include expensive items like a new roof or a new furnace.