So you're ready to meet the challenge of buying a new home? With common-sense planning, you can avoid these five common buyer mistakes and steer yourself towards success:
1. Impulse buying. To skip this mistake, do some serious research on what are your specific needs. Example is, how are the local schools? Are there parks or gym facilities that fit your needs? How is the traffic to shopping centres, work, friends & family? Is shopping close by? In other words, compare areas in terms of what is important to you personally. You might find your "dream house" only to discover that resales are slow, schools are terrible, traffic is a nightmare or that aircraft fly right over the front yard. Bottom line – make your new home earn its stripes. Before you commit to a long term home relationship, make certain you are both compatible.
2. Not setting any budget limits. Don't make the classic mistake of buying more than you can afford. Your first responsibility is to pay your mortgage, taxes and insurance. If you're set on upgrades or remodeling, can you fit them into your budget? What about furnishings? Can you afford the extra furniture for those extra bedrooms or for that huge new living/family room? And what about utilities? Those cathedral ceilings are breathtaking, but have you considered the additional heating costs?
3. Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Speaking of monthly payments, most experts (including myself) consider it absolutely crucial for buyers to seek pre-approval from a lender before even looking to purchase. While pre-approval doesn't mean you are approved for a loan, at the very least it establishes precisely what you can afford. Once you have that info, you can avoid the heartbreak of finding the perfect home only to discover that it's beyond your financial reach. In addition, pre-approval substantially improves your status as a buyer in the eyes of a seller... BIG TIME.
4. Not working with professionals. So, you've found a lender. Now you need to complete your professional support team. Too many buyers believe they can do this on their own and they disregard professional input. Avoid a nightmare later by assembling a group of professionals who will suit your needs, represent you, and whose expertise you respect. Begin your search with a buyer's agent (preferably an ABR®) . Resist the urge to call the REALTORS® number on the For Sale sign. The seller's agent works for the seller. You need a REALTOR® who will work on your behalf and negotiate with your best interests in mind. Will you need a lawyer? It's a great idea to find an excellent lawyer as your search begins, rather than in the midst of it. To say that Real Estate documents are confusing is an understatement. A lawyer specializing in Real Estate is best suited to protect you from unexpected terms or surprises when it's time to sign on the dotted line. I have a list of recommended lawyers you may want to choose from. And what about a home inspector? Which brings us to the next mistake…
5. Cutting corners on the home inspection. Some lenders may require a home inspection before they will approve a mortgage. Buyers are wise to pay for thorough inspections to include structural components, electrical, piping, roof integrity, sewage or leaks, etc. A minor investment with a home inspector is a small price to pay in exchange for enormous deficiencies later. I have a list of recommended licenced home inspectors you may want to choose from.
Ultimately, with smart planning and a realistic approach to home buying, you really can enjoy the dream of owning your perfect home. Please browse thru my buyers pages as I have plenty of preliminary info for you. When you are ready to look for your home or have general home ownership questions, please call me direct 780-242-5229 or thru my contact page.