The 6 Most Frequent House-Hunting Mistakes
When searching for your new home, you’ll no doubt be filled with feelings of joy and excitement. This can be a terrific experience, but, if not approached correctly those emotions can quickly turn to stress and worry. The following are the most common mistakes made by buyers and we at Jennifer Coleman are here to help you avoid them.
1. Not Checking Your Credit Report
You wouldn’t walk into a battle unarmed so don’t walk into a bank empty-handed. Not to say this definitely going to be one, but, remember that it’s the bank’s job to protect their interests. It’s your job to protect yours. Walking in knowing your credit score will go a long way in making the conversation well-directed and one of substance. Pulling your report months ahead of your home search also allows you to tidy it up to make sure you get financed at the best possible rates.
2. Overspending on Your New Home
Using that credit report and a few other factors such as debt-to-income ratios and tax documentation, the lender will begin finding a justifiable loan amount. However, sometimes lenders approve applicants for much more loan than they can truly afford. You’ll need to come up with a long-term budget that outlines how much home you can actually afford while allowing savings. It’s easy to fall into the trap of splurging on your new home, but, eventually the new bills that come with it will not be worth it.
3. Not Seeking Professional Representation /h3>
DIY may be the acceptable in a lot of arenas, but, home buying should not be one of them. Considering the magnitude of the process and how it can be a proverbial minefield, going it alone may end up costing you a lot of extra time and thousands of dollars in the long run. It can’t be stated enough how much stress you’ll avoid by going with a professional real estate agent. From matching homes to your wish list to traversing a 70-page contract, your agent will fast become your best friend. Also remember that most sellers have representation, so why shouldn’t you?
4. Skipping the Home Inspection
Some sellers will play on your anxiety to find your new home and match that with their urgency to get the home sold to you. In this haste, they’ll advise you to forego the home inspection altogether as it’s not truly required. DON’T DO THIS. This can literally be one of the most devastating mistakes you could make. At face value the home may look great, but, it takes the trained eye of a home inspector to know exactly what to look for. Otherwise you may be purchasing a home that will need a ton of improvement and soon on your dime.
5. Not Researching the Neighborhood
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive and, make no mistake about it, when you buy a home you’re also buying the neighborhood. So go “take it for a spin”. Visit the community several times varying when you do it to make sure you have great idea of your neighbors and how it all feels at different times of the day. It could be perfect at noon and a nightmare at 8pm. You need to know this ahead of time. Also note if your street would be private or high traffic. If there are children in your household this is definitely a key consideration.
6. Being Too Strict on Your Wish List
There’s a difference between your dream home and the perfect home. Unless it’s being built from scratch to your personal specs, you’ll probably have to accept the fact that finding the perfect home on your wish list is extremely challenging. It may not even be possible in the areas that you’re searching. Itemize your wish list into two categories: Needs versus Wants. Then search for homes that satisfy all of your needs and as you find them you can then begin determining which of those have some of your wants. Don’t get stuck searching for a perfect home that may not exist.