Thinking of buying your first home? Are you eager to start house hunting? Hold it, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and it is best to be prepared before you jump into the wagon.
Here are five common blunders first-time home buyers should avoid.
- Not knowing how much you can afford
Many home buyers go into the process with no idea about how much they can afford for a home. They spend time looking at homes and ended up being disappointed when the house they found is not in their price range. To avoid this, you should know how much you can afford before you even start house hunting.
How do you know how much house you can afford? Check your finances and decide how much you can realistically pay. There are several ways to know how much you can afford, one is getting pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified for a loan will give you an idea of what you might be able to borrow helping prepare your budget. Another way is calculating your mortgage payment. Your mortgage payments, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance should not exceed 28% of your monthly gross income.
- Not hiring an agent to work for you
It is always best to seek professional help. The buyer’s agent is there to act as a liaison between you and the seller. Even if the seller is responsible for paying the agent’s commission – he/she work will work for your best interest. Your agent can provide you all the data on local home sales that you want to see, can help speak for you in tough transactions, tackle the paperwork for you, keep all records and information organized and walk with you until you finally close the deal.
- Letting emotion cloud your judgment
When shopping for a home, don’t let your emotion cloud your judgment. Many homebuyers often make this mistake. Buying a home is one the largest financial decisions you will ever make. You have to be always logical and don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Home buyers lead by their emotion can easily end up buying a home they cannot afford or losing a great deal because they are not focused.
- Not learning about the neighborhood
Remember that you are not only buying a house, the neighborhood comes with it. What is the point of finding the perfect house when you cannot stand the neighborhood? Before you put an offer to a house be sure to learn more about the neighborhood. Do your homework and research about the neighborhood’s crime rate, noise and traffic, schools, public services, convenience, and future developments. Knowing about these will help ensure you are moving into the right environment.
- Failing to know the market before making an offer
Before you make an offer on a house, it is always helpful to know the market. Your agent should arm you with plenty of comparables in the area, this will ensure that you do not over pay what the home is really worth. Your agent can also tell how long the property has been on the market, the foreclosure activity in the area and the market trend helping you decide on which price is best to offer.