Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It is important to know that this big decision is consisted of dozens of small decisions about things like the price, square footage, landscaping, etc. The key to getting the purchase right is making each of these seemingly small decisions count. The process of home purchasing is filled with traps that lead home buyers into making mistakes, some minor and others beyond repair. Here are some of the most common mistakes home buyers make and ways to avoid them.
Going Way Above Your Budget
Shopping for houses can be really exciting. Suddenly you find yourself looking at a number of glorious buildings, some with multiple fireplaces, and others with large kitchens and granite countertops. All these choices can make you a bit capricious. Before you start searching for houses, you should set up a realistic budget and be determined not to give more than that, unless you have a really grounded reason. Just make sure you don’t spend all of your “rainy day stash”.
Not Including Added Costs into Budgeting
It would be great if the total amount you have to pay included only the bare price of the property. Unfortunately, buying a house comes with many added costs, including utilities, maintenance, insurance and property taxes. Before you determine whether you can pay for the monthly costs, ask the seller about average utility expenses, insurance quote and property taxes.
Not Inspecting the House’s Condition
On the outside, the house may look perfect, but how would you know what is happening inside its walls, on the attic, on the roof or bellow the ground? Even new never-lived-in houses should be inspected for damage and safety hazards.
Forgetting About the Pest Inspection
Pests are a very common issue in houses on the market, especially if no one has lived in them for some time. Identify problems with termites, bugs and rats before you buy the house or at least before you move in. The homeowner can give you all the guarantees you want, but you will never know for sure unless you check first.
Making Verbal Agreements
Words disappear in the air unless they are written down on paper, and signed by both parties. For example, you may think that kitchen appliances come with the deal, and the seller may have even said that, but what if they change their mind in the last minute? It’s your word against theirs. Buying new appliances you’ve thought you will get with the house can cost you hundreds of dollars and more.
Using the Seller’s Agent
This is a situation where everyone has their own priorities, but the buyer still ends up last on the list. The seller’s agent works for a commission they get from the seller, so the interests of the homeowner are the most important to them. That’s why you should hire your own agent to help you around negotiating the price and legal terms.
Choosing the Wrong Mortgage
Speaking of negotiating, a well-chosen mortgage will put you in a better negotiating position. So, before going house hunting, you should have your loan preapproved. It is crucial to pick your finance package carefully and to go to more than one bank.
Making an Emotional Purchase
There are two types of emotional purchases: the falling in love and the fed up purchase. Neither of them is a good choice. If you fall in love and idealize a house, the seller’s agent will use that to squeeze the last dollar out of your pocket. On the other hand, if you buy a property in desperation, it will probably not suit your needs best.
Purchasing a home is a process full of potential pitfalls. Learn from others’ examples and protect yourself from making such costly mistakes.