House Hunting Mistakes To Avoid

Dated: 08/29/2016

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Make no mistake, buying a home is a big deal and one of the biggest decisions you will make. No need to worry,  many have done it before, and here’s some mistakes to avoid.

Falling in Love with a House You Can Not Afford

You’ve walked into your dream home and imagined where you will put your sofa. The street is quite, the kitchen is spacious, but it’s out of your price range. You will only torture yourself by imagining yourself in it. Avoid the temptation to get in over head financially, or the disappointment of feeling like you’re settling for less, get Prequalified before you start looking at homes and look only at homes within your price range.

Start your search on the lower end of your price range, if you like what you find, don’t look at higher priced homes. If what you see does not satisfy you, look slightly higher. Your real estate agent may help you negotiate a lower price, but it all depends on the market in that area.

You’ve Found the Best One

Unless you are looking at high-end custom homes, chances are that any home you like there will be others similar to it. Most neighborhoods have homes that have the same model and same builder. If you’re considering a condo or townhouse, most cases you will find one almost exactly.

You may have a list of must-haves, and many homes will meet your criteria, but there will most likely be issues, like repair issues or inconvenient possession date. Stay flexible because you may need to move on and keep looking. Staying open to your options will save you from making decisions you may regret later.

You’re Desperate

Your lease is up or you’re starting a new job in a new city in soon and you haven’t found anything you like. It’s easy to become desperate to get into your new house, but if you purchase a house you have issues with in the beginning, chances are you’ll end up hating it later. Moving and transaction costs will be costly. You’ll have to pay agent’s commission (Seller pays both agents commissions) and you will have to pay closing costs on your old and new house. Do yourself a favor and create a flexible situation to find your dream home.

Overlooking Important Flaws

For any of the previous reasons, you could be tempted to ignore major issues about the house that will be expensive or impossible to change. Consider waiting for the right house, new ones come on the market every day.

Overestimating Your Handyman Skills

You see a home that needs some TLC and think “I can fix or change that”. Buying a fixer-upper takes time, money and ability. Consider that once you start, there may be even more repairs than you bargained for. Evaluate your abilities and your budget before you purchase a property that isn’t move-in ready.

Taking Too Much Time to Decide

It is a fine balance to be sure you make a correct decision and taking too long to make it. It is heartbreak to finally decide you love the home and are ready to make an offer, then to find out someone beat you to it. Communicate with your real estate agent about your decision process and they will communicate with the Seller’s Agent to represent your intentions.

Offer is Too Much

If it is a Seller’s market, you’ll find a lot of competition. If you find a home you like, it is easy to get into a bidding war or try to preempt a bidding war with a high price offer. There are potential problems with this approach. First, if the house doesn’t appraise at or the above offer price, your lender will not finance your loan. The seller will have to reduce the price or you may pay cash for the difference. Second, when you go to sell the home, if the market conditions are similar or worse than when you purchased the home, you could find yourself upside down and unable to sell it. Make sure the purchase price for the home is reasonable by comparing recent sales and get your real estate agent’s opinion.

It’s normal for emotions to play a role in the homebuying process. Buying a home is a big decision and that is exactly why you need to make rational choices and not get wrapped up in the idea of the perfect dream home. Think things through, overcome your emotions and make a home purchase based on decisions that are best for your feelings and finances.

Are you thinking of purchasing a home? Contact me, I can guide and help you avoid making mistakes through the home buying process.

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