Buying your first home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. During the homebuying process, there are many things you need to consider and doing your due diligence to cover all your bases will help you get through the process successfully. Here are 12 common mistakes homebuyers make when looking for a new house. Avoid these mistakes and you will be on your way to making a great homebuying decision!
1. Not Making a Budget
Owning a home may seem like a better option than renting because the property is yours and your money goes towards paying it off in full. However, it is a hefty upfront investment if you’re in need of a loan. Make sure you know what you can afford to pay each month before signing a mortgage—don’t bite off more than you can chew.
2. Ignoring Your Credit Score
If you want to move from being a renter to a homeowner, you’ll need a solid credit score. Even if you make amazing budgets and have a good income, a poor credit score will lower your chances of qualifying for a loan. Make sure you’re taking steps from here on out to boost your credit score. You can speak with your financial advisor about how you can increase your credit score and maintain a better number.
3. Forgetting about Housing Trends
As you may know, the housing market fluctuates. Sometimes you will benefit from these changes and other times you won’t. A good way to take advantage of these changes is to read up on the housing supply and demand, interest rates, and price history in your desired community.
4. Shopping before Getting Qualified
A big mistake you can make is shopping for a home before you are prequalified for a mortgage loan. This will only leave you disappointed if you find out you are not approved. Meet with a real estate lawyer or mortgage advisor to get a clear understanding of your budget and the type of property you can own.
5. Trusting an Underqualified Realtor
Choosing the right real estate agent is one of the most important steps in your search for a new home. They can help you negotiate offers, inspections, financing, and other details. Make sure you work with someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, not just in real estate but in the neighbourhood you want to live in.
6. Forgoing a Home Inspection
Don’t rely on your real estate agent or the seller to point out any problems with the home. Have a professional home inspector check for any damages, pest problems, or issues with the property that you cannot see. Don’t make a commitment until you’ve completed this step, otherwise you could move into your new home only to find a series of expensive problems to solve.
7. Letting Emotions Direct Your Decisions
Buying your first home is an exciting experience and it may be easy to want to commit to the first home you like. But don’t forget to use your head. Don’t let your initial excitement for a prospective property cause you to forget the important aspects, or you may end up buying the wrong house or paying too much for it.
8. Choosing the Wrong Location
Most first-time home buyers tend to live in their homes for five to seven years, so choosing the right location is very important. Find out how well the transportation routes are and how close schools, shopping malls, parks, and grocery stores are. You should also consider any planned developments, the noise level, and local crime statistics.
9. Skimming the Purchase Contract
Contracts for buying a new home are long and detailed, but you need to review them very carefully on your own and with your real estate lawyer. Pay attention to every clause and highlight any dates or monetary figures. Find out exactly what is included in your monthly payments and check for any fine print.
10. Renovating as Soon as You Buy
It’s true that renovations increase the value of your home, but don’t rush this process. If you overextend your credit you will have a rough time paying it off, especially in an unforeseen situation. Live in your home for a while and build some stability. This will save you money and help you make the best changes to the layout based on your needs and understanding of the home.
11. Refusing Mortgage Insurance
Your home is probably the largest investment you will ever make in your life. Insurance will buy you peace of mind and allow for more flexible financing options. It also allows you to take advantage of available equity so you can pay down debts and make financial investments.
12. Choosing a Fixer-Upper to Save Money
Choosing a fixer-upper for a home is a good idea, but make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Make sure your inspection is diligent and be realistic about how much it would cost to fix the home the way you want it to be. Buying this kind of home will take up a lot of your time and can be more expensive than you think. If you work full-time you will need to hire professional renovators to work on your home. If your house needs major work, you should also consider moving in after it is done.
Get Help from Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers
Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers is a full service residential real estate law firm that provides fixed closing costs to buyers and sellers when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. We have been in business for 20 years and have closed over 18,000 real estate transactions. We have three lawyers to service our clients and were one of the first firms to provide fixed closing costs. We provide professional service and reasonable real estate lawyer fees and have thousands of satisfied clients to prove it. If you need any assistance, contact us at 416-321-8766 for more information about our services.