Buying your first home can be very exciting, but many first-time homebuyers make a few mistakes. There are five costly mistakes that you should avoid:
1. Starting the search process without getting pre-qualified. I’ve seen buyers find homes that they love only to speak with the mortgage company and discover that they don’t qualify to buy that home. Speaking to your mortgage person and getting pre-qualified prior to your home search is an important first step.
2. Buying a home without considering your future needs. You never want to spend more than you need to on a home. You also don’t want to buy more home than you need, or less than you might need. It’s important to think three years down the road. Most people own homes for between three and seven years. If you buy less home than you need, then it could be expensive to sell and buy another home when making that purchase.
3. Trying to navigate the process without an experienced buyer’s agent.Think of it this way: If you are entering an expensive race car in a race, would you hire a new, part-time mechanic or an experienced, full-time mechanic? You need a full-time, experienced buyer’s agent to guide you through this process. The good news is that working with a buyer’s agent won’t cost you any money in most cases, as the buyer’s agent is usually paid by the seller.
“Make sure you get pre-qualified before you start looking at homes.”
4. Paying for a professional home inspection without taking advantage of the inspection report. Inspections provide critical information about what’s wrong with the house, as well as upcoming repairs. The report is a great tool to help you understand your home. Homes don’t come with an owner’s manual, so knowing what you need to do to maintain that home is important.
5. Spending money on an expensive item before closing.Your interest rate and your mortgage are based on your FICO score. Buying an expensive car, furniture, or appliances could affect your FICO score and negatively impact your interest rate. In fact, a big purchase may even prevent you from closing on the home, so hold off on those expensive items until after you’ve closed on the property.
If you have any other questions about buying a home, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!