So, you're ready to go the journey to find a house. Whether this is your first home or just one of many, making the decision to buy a house can be an overwhelming, yet exciting experience. Before you start your house-hunting journey, it's important to sit down and write a list of your wants. Think about what you would like to have in your perfect house and keep in mind that you may not be able to have everything on the list. It's also important to remember that when you begin house hunting, it is easy to jump into something you may not be ready for. To ensure you are on the right path, here are the top four home buying mistakes you should avoid.
Buying Out of Your Price Range
Making the mistake of buying out of your price range is an easy thing to do, especially if you do not have a specific budget drawn up beforehand. Another easy way to avoid buying out of your price range is to get pre-approved before you even begin the hunt for your perfect house. Mortgage brokers will use your income and total indebtedness to calculate the maximum amount you are qualified for, but they will also often give you the maximum price you can pay for a home. It's best to use less than the maximum amount as your starting point, then work your way up to a more expensive house only if you have to.
Not Shopping for the Best Rates
It is extremely important that you do your homework before you sign on the dotted line. Lenders have different fee structures and mortgage rates. Unfortunately, many home buyers only talk with one lender and if they are approved, they end up using that lender for their mortgage. You should talk with three or four different mortgage lenders and compare the rates, terms, and fee structures, and then pick the one that has the best offer. Even a small difference in the mortgage rates can result in thousands of dollars difference in the life of the loan.
Choosing the Wrong Community
When it comes to where you choose to buy a home, location is important for a variety of reasons. If you buy a house in a bad location, it may be more difficult to sell the house when you decide to move. Before committing yourself to a community, make sure you visit the house and the neighborhood several times. You should visit during different times of the day and go once or twice during the night. Talk with the neighbors, read the local newspapers, visit the local schools, and visit local shopping centers. This will give you a better idea of what the community is really like. The location is one of the few things that you will not be able to change about a house.
Waiving the Home Inspection
Unfortunately, this is a more common mistake than many people realize. You should never waive the home inspection, regardless of how good the property looks or how new the house is. The home inspection is your opportunity to find any problems with the property before you buy it. The inspection will typically cover all areas of the house, especially those problems that are usually the most expensive to repair, including:
- Heating and air conditioning system
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
- The roof
- The foundation/structure
- Drainage system
In order to find a house that is truly going to make a good investment as well as a place that you will be comfortable living in, it is important to take your time and look at several options before making a decision. Buying a home can be an extremely stressful situation, so make sure you work with a realtor that you are comfortable with and someone that understands what the real estate market in the area where you want to buy your property.