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It’s not easy buying a house, let’s talk about the common mistakes made by home buyers. Most people only buy or sell a house every 7 years so it is easy to forget all the lessons learned the previous time. For first time home buyers, they are learning everything new. Luckily, we have experts at CityWorth that have helped put together the top 8 mistakes made by homebuyers. Avoid these mistakes and you will have a smooth purchase.
1) Not getting preapproved
Make sure you get preapproved before you start buying a house, so you aren’t looking at homes out of your price range. If you don’t, you will be disappointed in the homes you are actually supposed to be looking at and will be searching for a home that doesn’t exist! You’ll never be happy. Buyers always want to see higher priced homes “just for fun” but it hurts them in the long run. It sets expectations that will likely not be met.
2) Being careless with credit
A mortgage lender will pull your credit report at preapproval to make sure things check out and again just before closing. Your lender wants to make sure nothing has changed in your financial profile.
Any new loans or credit card accounts on your credit report can jeopardize the closing and final loan approval. Buyers, especially first-timers, often learn this lesson the hard way.
Keep the status quo in your finances from preapproval to closing. Don’t open new credit cards, close existing accounts, take out new loans or make large purchases on existing credit accounts in the months leading up to applying for a mortgage through closing day. Pay down your existing balances to below 30 percent of your available credit limit, if you can, and pay your bills on time and in full every month.
3) Making decisions based on emotion
Buying a house is a major life milestone. It’s a place where you’ll make memories, create a space that’s truly yours and put down roots. It’s easy to get too attached and make emotional decisions, so remember that you’re also making one of the largest investments of your life.
Being a strong seller’s market, a lot of first-time buyers are bidding over what they are comfortable with because it is taking them longer than usual to find homes.
Emotional decisions could lead to overpaying for a home and stretching yourself beyond your budget. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t become emotionally attached to a home that is not yours, that is defiantly one of the top mistakes made by home buyers.
4) Fixating on the house over the neighborhood
Sure, you want a home that checks off the items on your wish list and meets your needs. Being nitpicky about a home’s cosmetics, however, can be short-sighted if you wind up in a neighborhood you hate, says Alison Bernstein, president and founder of Suburban Jungle, a real estate strategy firm.
Selecting the right town is critical to your life and family development. The goal is to find you and your brood a place where the culture and values of the neighborhood match yours. You can always trade up or down for a new home, add a third bathroom or renovate a basement.
You could wind up loving your home but hating your neighborhood. Settle on what your priorities are in a community and do your homework. Depending on your needs or preferences, you might want to research school ratings, commute time and other factors. You could visit the neighborhood at different times to get a sense of traffic flow and see if it’s an area that’d appeal to you.
5) Focusing on Style Over Structure
Passing on a near-perfect house just because you hate the paint job is a rookie home-buying mistake. Do your best to overlook clutter like bad landscaping, outdated carpeting and the velvet Elvis in the living room. If you house hunt with a mindset that you can easily replace cosmetic issues, you could score yourself a deal.
Instead of worrying about appearances, pay attention to things that aren’t so easy to fix—like structure. Does the floor plan fit your family? How old is the roof? Are there any problems with the foundation? Are there any signs of issues with the electrical or plumbing systems? You don’t want to get stuck buying a house with bad bones.
6) Buying a Fixer-Upper
If you’re a fan of home improvement shows, you may think you’re ready to tackle a fixer-upper. But before you sign on the dotted line, there’s something you should know. Many communities require licensed professionals to upgrade wiring, plumbing, and roofing.
Even if you’re allowed to do the work yourself, it will have to meet local building codes. So, if you’re not 100 percent confident in your building skills, you may end up having to hire subcontractors, and this will add substantially to the cost of a house that needs a lot of work.
7) Buying “As Is” Without Inspections
You’ve undoubtedly seen houses listed “as is,” but those two words should send up a red flag. When a seller lists a property “as is,” it means the seller will not warranty any defects in the house. What you see is what you get with these houses.
Before making an offer on an “as is” house, pay to have the home professionally inspected. It will cost around $400, depending on the size of the house and the complexity of the inspection, but what you learn about the condition of the home will save you from getting stuck with unexpected, expensive repair costs.
8) Skipping the Walk-Through
The inspection is over, your financing is in place, and you’re getting ready to close on your new house. A few hours or a day before the closing, you’ll have the option of taking one last walk-through before you finalize the deal and get the keys to the house. Don’t skip the opportunity. At this point, the house is usually vacant so it’s easier to spot problems, and it’s your last chance to see if anything’s wrong.
Switch all the lights on and off, verify any conditional repairs, check the appliances, look under the sinks for leaks—make the most of the walk-through, because once you close, you, not the seller, are responsible for repairs.
Top Mistakes Made by Home Buyers: Conclusion
Now you have the wisdom and can avoid the most common mistakes made by homebuyers. CityWorth Real Estate Agents and Loan Officers are always available to answer any questions you may have and help you avoid the other non-common mistakes. We will discuss and advise on how you can avoid making common mistakes made by home buyers! Please NEVER HESITATE to ask questions. Contact CityWorth to start your journey buying a house!
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