As a first-time homebuy, it’s all too easy to make mistakes that can end up costing you down the road.
Buying a home for the first time is no small feat. It’s a huge decision and one of the biggest (if not the biggest) investments you’ll make in your lifetime. However, the homebuying process is by no means easy, and many first-time homebuyers make mistakes that they end up paying for for years to come.
At Berkshire Hathaway, we don’t just sell real estate. We are a real estate company that truly cares about helping you find the right home and make the right decisions during the homebuying process. When you’re happy, so are we, and that’s why we’ve come up with this list of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1. Not doing your homework about the homebuying process.
Buying a home isn’t like buying a car or really anything else. You can’t just fill out a couple of pieces of paper, pick a house and be on your way. It’s a process that can be complicated, and a little knowledge can go a long way for first-time homebuyers.
Mistake #2. Not considering what you can really afford.
If you’ve been preapproved for a certain amount from a lender, you might be tempted to use the full amount, but what the numbers say you can afford and what you can actually afford aren’t always one and the same. Before you start searching for a home for sale, put together a budget so that you can figure out exactly how much you want to spend on a monthly basis on your mortgage.
When considering what you can afford, it’s important to think beyond just the mortgage. As a homeowner, you are responsible for so much more than just your mortgage payments. You’ll also have to pay for homeowner’s association fees (if they apply), maintenance costs, property taxes, insurance, etc.
Mistake #3. Not getting pre-qualified.
While you may qualify for more than you can actually afford, the opposite can also be true. In some cases, what you think you can afford and what you are actually qualified for can be very different things. That’s why, before you start looking for a home, it’s essential to find out exactly how much you qualify for. The last thing that you want is to fall in love with a home that you can’t afford.
Mistake #4. Letting yourself get swept away.
Investors have figured out lots of ways to make investment properties appear nicer than they actually are, at least as far as aesthetics are concerned. You’d be surprised at how much of an impact a few cosmetic upgrades can make. Don’t let a fresh coat of paint or new countertops fool you into falling in love with the wrong house. In fact, try to avoid being swept away by any home. Instead of allowing yourself to fall in love with how a home looks or feels, try to take the emotional aspects out of it by relying on the inspection, the facts and the numbers.
Mistake #5. Not getting an inspection.
Regardless of whether you’re buying a house that has been around for 30+ years or it’s been custom built just for you, you should never skip the inspection. It’s important to understand all of the potential expenses in the home that you’re buying, and the inspection will allow you to learn the condition of everything from the roof to the water heater.
These are just a few of the many common mistakes first-time homebuyers make, and if you would like to learn more, please stay tuned for our next blog!