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  • Writer's pictureForge Marketing Group

Common Mistakes Buyers Make

Buying a home can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Because there is so much involved in the process, there is a lot that can go wrong when buying.

Fortunately, you can reduce the amount of issues in your buying process if you avoid these common mistakes that buyers often make.

Not Getting Pre-Approved

One of the first things you should do when thinking of buying a home is get pre-approved for a mortgage. For one thing, it lets you know up front how much money you will be able to borrow to buy a home and gives you an idea of your price range as you start looking. Another way that it gives you an advantage in the process is it lets the seller know you are serious about buying and makes the closing process move along faster. The lender determines how much you can get for a mortgage by looking at your credit, income, assets, and debts.

Pursuing Homes that are Over Budget

There is no point in falling in love with a home and imagining yourself living there if it turns out you can afford it in the first place. This is why it is important to find out what you can afford before you start looking at potential homes. Not only should you get pre-approved for a mortgage, but think about other costs associated with buying a home such as the down payment, closing costs, and the cost of general maintenance and renovations that will come later.

Not Putting Down the Largest Down Payment Possible

The down payment is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll cross when buying a home because it requires a lot of money and will set the trajectory of your mortgage payments. Putting 20% down is usually recommended but in truth, most people end up with a down payment less than that. A lot of mortgages will allow you to put down as little as 3%. A larger down payment gets you smaller monthly mortgage payments which makes it easier for you in the long run. Even if you cannot put down a full 20%, it is beneficial to put down as much as is possible for you.

Getting the Wrong Type of Mortgage

As you embark on buying a home, it is important to do your research on different types of mortgages. Getting the wrong kind of mortgage can set you on the wrong path financially in the long run. For example, a lot of people will get a 30-year plan which requires less money up front and monthly costs are lower but you will need to consider if you want to be paying for such a long period of time. It is important to compare different offers to see how much you will be paying monthly and what option is the most feasible for you.

Trying to Buy Without a Real Estate Agent

Getting a real estate agent to help you buy your home is extremely helpful in the overall process because of the breadth of knowledge they bring to assist you. When trying to buy on your own, especially when you already do not have much of a working knowledge of the business, it is too easy to make a mistake that you cannot fix. A real estate agent can help you negotiate and spot good deals to help you save money in the long run.

Not Researching the Local Neighborhood and Schools

When thinking of buying a home, it is not enough to just consider the costs associated with it. It is just as important to think about the quality of the neighborhood and local school system. Especially important if you plan on raising a family in your new home, the condition of the surrounding area and the schools should be a top priority. These factors also impact the value of your new home. One day you might want to sell the home and while you can always update the home itself, you cannot update the surrounding area so be sure to do diligent research.

Assuming Every Price is Negotiable

Sellers have different strategies for their homes and it may not include negotiating their price. Do not make the mistake of making an offer with the intention to negotiate with the seller. Buyers frequently underbid and end up losing out on the first couple of properties they choose because the house was priced from the beginning to sell. If the seller is unwilling to negotiate on their price, you could lose out on the chance to buy the home of your dreams.

Not Getting an Inspection Before Buying

It is standard practice to get an inspection after making an offer on a home. The inspection protects you as a buyer on the chance that the seller is hiding, or is simply unaware, of major problems the home may have. Don’t assume that you only need to get an inspection if you are buying an old home. Even newly constructed homes should be inspected so that you won’t be responsible for the cost of preventable repairs later on.

Passing on a Good Home Early in the Process

A lot of times, buyers will pass on a good home early on in the process because they think they will find something even better. They feel like it is too early in their search to settle on a home but by the time they finally come back to that beautiful first home, it has already been bought by someone else. Keep an open mind. If you find your dream home in the beginning, remember that you may not find another one like it later.

Ready to Buy in Houston?

If you’ve read this entire article, then you are serious about buying. Contact Keith E. Ford at 832-788-7037 to learn more about buying in Houston!

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