Purchasing a home is one of the biggest and most expensive decisions one can make in their lifetime. You’ve likely tried researching whatever you can that is involved in the process. However, buyers can easily get overwhelmed by the many pieces of advice that they receive from well-meaning friends and family. You’ll often be left thinking, “which mistakes should I be avoiding?”
One can never be too careful when it comes to investments, and purchasing a home is certainly a large one. Here are a few of the most important home buying mistakes that you need to steer away from when making the purchase.
Making Emotional Decisions
Too often, people make the mistake or purchasing a home that looks just like a favorite photo, a beloved childhood home, or because it reminds them of something else they are fond of. This is one of the most common home buying mistakes people make when purchasing what they think is their dream home.
Remember, buying a home is a huge commitment that you may have to live with for at least a few years. Avoid going solely with your feelings and focus on practicality.
Forgetting About Additional Costs
What looks like a great bargain can easily turn into your worst nightmare if you bought a home that’s a pain to maintain. Scoring a turn-of-the-century mansion for the price of a bungalow can make you feel like you’ve won the lottery. That is until you find out that the yearly maintenance, insurance, and property taxes nearly costs as much as the home’s purchase price.
Inquire about the average costs of utilities and maintenance and don’t forget to factor that in your purchase decision. Your inspection may also reveal any large purchases you may need to make in the near future. Your wallet will be glad you did.
Going Over Budget
Going over what you can afford to avoid missing out on what looks like a great deal can spell disaster down the road. Having a good amount of breathing room financially can help you deal with unexpected events. Keep in mind that future circumstances might push you to let go of a home. If that happens you’ll be subjecting yourself to unnecessary stress if too much of your finances are tied up to your home.
Remember, you have a budget for a reason. Stick with it.
Rushing Into a Sale
There are times when buying a home right away may not be the best choice. For example, if you’ve been sent by your work for a temporary assignment in an amazing place, it can be easy to get emotional and lose sight of practicality. If you don’t see yourself living in a certain neighborhood for years, then it makes no sense to force yourself to buy a home there. Keep in mind that not every nice property will be a walk in the park to sell or rent out in the future.
When you have enough time to spend searching, you don’t need to rush. Looking at more homes can give you perspective, and can sometimes reveal a property that better suits your needs.
Forgetting to Put Everything in Writing
It does not happen often where a seller promises the world just to make the sale while backing out later, but you should not put yourself in that situation. Don’t assume anything is included until you get it in writing. Both you as a buyer and the seller will then be on the same page and avoid any conflicts down the road this way.
For example, as a buyer, you may be expecting a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances only to move into a home with almost nothing. The seller might promise to repaint some rooms of the house and then simply forget to do it. It is always smart to put details like this in writing. After all, one washer or stove can go for hundreds or up to thousands of dollars, and you may have made a different offer had you known this would happen.
In the end, your greatest weapon against common home buyer mistakes is your real estate agent. They have been through these transactions so many times that they will be able to see trouble from miles away. When you finally close on a home you will truly enjoy, you will be happy you had someone on your side to make sure everything went smoothly.