Buying a home for the first time can be an exhilarating experience. With Millennials rapidly entering into the home buying market, and more options than ever when it comes to how people can find a home, opening the door to the real estate world can seem overwhelming and complicated. Fortunately, as almost everyone knows by now, the internet can provide you with enough resources to confidently approach any situation, and home buying is no different.
Here are five common mistakes that first time home buyers make and how you can avoid them.
Doing It On Your Own
There are some things that you simply need the help of a professional with, and home buying is certainly one of them. Beyond providing help while you navigate the twists and turns during the searching process, realtors can also provide you with valuable resources at a flat rate that end up saving you tons of time, energy, and money in the long run. For instance, instead of scouring Craigslist and other free online platforms for homes that will end up being red flagged or a waste of time, a home buyer in The Sunshine State can utilize the help of a broker to access a flat fee MLS in Florida.
The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is an extremely valuable weapon to have at your disposal as a buyer because it allows you to work with who you want, while at the same time, providing you insider access to all the homes that meet your requirements from serious sellers. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than half of recent buyers used the MLS in their search for a new home.
Avoiding Budget Talks Before Shopping
Discussing finances can be an uncomfortable activity for many people, but it’s so important to have a realistic understanding of where you are financially before you look for a home. Beyond being disappointed by finding the perfect home that you can’t afford, you can also run into woes down the line if you can’t put down a serious offer on the table, or even worse if you can’t afford the house when all the monthly bills start coming in. Buying a home takes some serious work ethic, so make sure you’ve prepared yourself for future costs and have an honest view of where you are financially before committing.
Not Looking Beyond the House
While you may have found the home of your dreams, it won’t mean much if you’re situated just off of a busy highway or in a lackluster location. It is very important to remember to look at things like walkability, proximity to schools and hospitals, and what the general feel of the neighborhood is like before buying a home. Would you feel safe walking the dogs or taking the kids to school? Are you near a busy intersection that might keep you awake at night? Remember, you’re not just living in this property for a few months or a year, you’re buying, and you need to picture what it will be like to wake up in your new home every day. Keep in mind all the things that make you happiest in life, beyond how a home currently looks.
Opening a Line of Credit Before the Sale is Final
Your credit score plays a large role when it’s time to close the sale on a house. The most critical days are after you’ve applied for your mortgage and the weeks in between closing your sale and getting the keys. If you apply for another credit card during this downtime, it may affect your credit score negatively, and that is a red flag for mortgage lenders. Sit tight during this process, and make your next big buying decision once you’ve closed on the house. Nerd Wallet advises you to wait until after closing to open new credit accounts or charge furniture, appliances, or tools to your existing credit cards. It’s okay to have those things picked out, but don’t buy them on credit until you have the keys in hand.
Being Emotional Rather Than Visionary
Being budget conscious doesn’t always have to mean being bland and boring. If you see a home in a fantastic neighborhood that falls into your price point, but its décor doesn’t blow you away on the inside, take a step back and realize its potential rather than its current state. You have total creative control over the interior and exterior of your home (unless you have a picky Home Owners Association). If you think the current owners have chosen horrible wallpaper or lighting fixtures, or think the backyard isn’t being used to its potential, you’ll have plenty of time to fix it up! Another way in which emotions can muck up a home sale is to be too starry-eyed by the interior of a house.
Homeowners will throw down some serious cash to have professionals come and stage their homes with the intent of having you fall in love with their interior design. Keep in mind, this may be done to distract you from some glaring flaws like neighborhood safety or a less-than-desirable location. Approach each home with a level head and an open mind, and you should be able to strike a balance between affordability and ingenuity.
Buying a home is a major decision in everyone’s life, but if you’re armed with the right tools before you begin your search, then your big decision doesn’t have to translate into a big headache. Remember, once you’ve hired a professional, it’s okay to ask as many questions as you need to, after all, that’s what they’re paid for! Do as much research as you can on the area surrounding your potential new home, and remember to always compare agents when selecting your realtor, as well. Putting in hard work here will save you a good chunk of change down the road in terms of interest rates, commission fees, and even renovation and repair costs after you’ve purchased your new home. Good luck and happy hunting!
Alejandro Herrera is a content writer working for beycome specializing in copywriting, and general blogging. Check out more of his work in the beycome blog to see more articles to help out homebuyers like you.