How to avoid new homeowner mistakes?

Buying your first home is an exciting time in life. There are simple mistakes that can leave you stuck with a “problem house,” which may cost you several thousands dollars more than its actual worth.

Your Realtor should be the one to guide & educate you to prevent such headaches in the future. Here are common mistakes and how to avoid them:

#1: Misunderstanding about what you need & what you want.

Prioritize your basic needs before you even start looking so you don’t buy the wrong home. You may have to compromise espcecially if you're tight on financial budget & this is your first home. This may not be the dream home you’ll live in for the rest of your life. The home you can afford may need a little work (fresh paint, new carpeting). Over time, you may be able to hire a contractor or do some more substantial upgrades yourself. With that being said you might turn it in your dream home or sell it down the line & upgrade. Here are some critical things to consider as a buyer:

  1. General price range & taxes
  2. Approximate size (in sq. footage)
  3. General location, area or subdivision
  4. Number of bedrooms
  5. Number of bathrooms
  6. Style and architecture of home
  7. School requirements or districts

#2: Paying too much for a "Staged" house.

Which seller wouldn't want to see offers higher than the listing price? Work with your REALTOR® to understand what you should offer the seller. Try to imagine if your belongings can fit in the empty space. You may want new furniture, but buying it just to fill the space can be a budget-killer. Or, you may still have to get new furniture if your current pieces don’t fit.

#3: Not Having A Home Inspection.

Having a professional home inspection before you close on the sale is one of the most important parts of the trasnaction. Review the inspection report carefully to make sure the home is in "expected" condition. You don’t want to overpay for a house that has serious issues such as: mold, water damage, or pests.

#4: Not Understanding The Contract.

Make sure everything is in writing. No deal is final unless it is legally signed by involved parties. A professional REALTOR® will help you understand your responsibilities under the contract and walk you through the closing process so you don’t lose money and sleep.

#5: Neglecting To Consider The Overall Costs Of Owning A Home.

There’s more than just a lump sum monthly mortgage payment. You have to plan for homeowners’ insurance, property tax increments, utility costs, repairs and maintenance. If you’re buying a condo, you’ll still have to pay maintenance costs.

#6: Not using a Realtor

The seller’s agent does not represent your financial interests. They work for the seller and are trying to get the seller the most money you will pay. Create a “buyer’s representation” with a REALTOR® so you have someone on your side working to negotiate the best price for YOU. This is why you never want to walk into an Open House without having a REALTOR®. By the way, this won’t cost you a penny because typically it’s paid out of the seller’s commission. As a bonus you will get professional co-oridation in all inspections, appraisals, escrow and title services.

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