Ready to buy your first home? Becoming a first-time homeowner means having a lot of hurdles to cross. But you’ll have the the potential of a huge reward once you’ve found and purchased the right home. The number of decisions to be made can seen stressful and overwhelming at times, especially because you’re making a big commitment that will define the next several years of your life. The more knowledge you have about mistakes first-time homebuyers make, the more you can avoid the pitfalls and achieve a successful purchasing process. A lot of the stress of house hunting can be avoided simply by changing your approach.
Here are some mistakes to avoid when you’re buying a house for the first time:
It’s so easy to get attached to your “dream home” and think, I’ll never find another one this good! But the truth is, there’s always another one out there. Don’t get caught up in the trap of thinking a particular house is the only one for you and you’ll never find another worth your time.
Diversify your emotional portfolio, so to speak, and realize that if this one falls through, another one will come along eventually. Don’t make snap decisions to lock down a house without doing your due diligence first.
On the flip side, though, maybe nothing you’ve seen is your dream home and you feel like you should keep searching until you find it. Make sure your expectations are realistic and that you don’t waste time looking for something that doesn’t exist.
Take advantage of all the resources real estate agents have to find homes in your desired price range and location. Don’t think that the ones you can find yourself are the only options. And before you latch onto the perfect house you’ve found online, make sure you’ve taken a look at what your realtor has to offer as well.
So, you’ve saved for a down payment and figured out your price range based on your income. That means you’re prepared, right?
Don’t forget to take all possible expenses into account. Besides a down payment, you’ll be looking at closing costs, moving costs, and property taxes, along with numerous other needs that may arise for home maintenance and repairs.
Once you’re in the closing process, it’s important not to make any adjustments to your financial situation. Even going on maternity leave can change your income-based qualifications, as can signing up for a new credit card or running up new charges on current cards.
The only reason you should touch credit cards during the buying process is to pay down debt. In the same vein, don’t make any changes to your employment status until after closing day.