Buying your first home, apartment, or condo is an exciting albeit daunting task. As a first-time home buyer, it’s tempting to dive right in and start looking at prospects. But if you rush a purchase or fail to consult professionals, you could end up spending more in the long run.
Here are four common mistakes every first-time home buyer should avoid.
1. Not getting pre-approved
Before you start browsing through home listings, it pays to meet with a lender and discuss your budget first. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage lets you know the loan size you would qualify for depending on your financial history. Showing them your credit report, debt, and income will allow them to draft a pre-approval letter you can present later on to real estate agents. Pre-approval also pinpoints the right price range for you and narrows down the properties you should consider.
2. Not hiring a real estate agent
Thanks to the internet, homeowners nowadays tend to believe that they can buy almost anything online including houses. In fact, there are various online listing services available that do sell properties.
That said, shopping for properties online prevents you from getting the full essence of what you’re purchasing. A real estate agent’s knowledge and experience will save you money and time. Agents will be able to tell whether a property is over-priced or not, and if they believe negotiation is possible. They are highly trained professionals who can sense issues that you’re not even aware of, such as leaks or plumbing problems. Real estate agents will also help you handle any paperwork for a hassle-free buying process.
3. Skipping home inspections
The average home inspection usually costs around $315. For condos and small homes under 1,000 sq ft., inspection can cost as little as $200. Larger properties over 2,000 sq ft. require around $400 or more.
Most home buyers would rather skip this stage because they think it’s too costly. In reality, a thorough home inspection can be the best investment you make for your home. It can help you anticipate future repairs or even reveal hidden pest infestations.
A pest control company in New England says that signs of infestation are not always obvious. Most pests are not visible during the daylight and can only be identified through their nests or droppings. In any case, it’s better to solve them early on with the help of technicians and inspectors.
4. Choosing the wrong location
Once you’ve fallen in love with a property, it can be tempting to jump right in. But finding the perfect home requires thorough research about its area and location. Consider future development plans, its proximity to major roads and establishments, as well as the area’s resale value trends. Keep in mind that you will be living here for the unforeseeable future. You don’t want to risk moving immediately after just purchasing a home.
Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. It’s more than just committing to a mortgage or finding the perfect interior design. Don’t hesitate to do some research, ask help from the experts, and take as much time as you need before settling on a property.