Home buying can be one of the most rewarding and fun experiences you’ll ever experience, however it can also be one the most stressful processes to experience. Here are just some of the top first time home buying mistakes that can easily creep up on you before, during or even after closing on that first home.
- Overpaying for the home or not doing property market research before shopping or letting a pesky agent who claims to be your friend talk to you into a higher offer so you beat competition.
- Not working with a trusted brokerage or real estate agent. Remember they have your interests in mind but also need to make a living by selling homes. Never forget that they make more money when you spend more on a house.
- You can try to negotiate commission terms before signing with an agent.
- Prepare to get loan terms from 2 or more local lenders and compare them against one another. This can save you a fortune over time with just making this decision.
- Make sure you read the listing agreement and are ok with the terms (or have a friend or another agent review it, the good agents will be happy to do so).
- Not having at least 20% down of the purchase price. Whether you are prequalified for 100k loan or a 500k loan you need to have 20% down. This should be how you base your buying power (over all loan amount from).
- Jumping on low interest rates or a prequalifying loan advertisement when you aren’t 100% ready to start shopping, buyer beware. Once you open that door and make that call you might already be sold on a home you weren’t ready to buy just yet. Really take time and sit back and take the pressure off.
- Not seeking advice or direction from family or trusted friends before hand.
- Not making a list of requirements ahead of time (back yard for the dogs, no basement, certain neighborhoods you don’t like etc.). The list goes on and on with this, find what works for what you need don’t “make it work” because you are anxious to buy.
- This one should be more obvious but unfortunately it isn’t. Be aware of your credit score and your over all DTI (debt to income) ratio. Lenders want that calculation to be as lean as possible when pre approving for a home loan.
- Get creative, if you have handyman skills or are looking to slowly take down a fun new project and aren’t afraid of some work ahead of you, there are listings for sale all of the time that come with built in equity that are looking for the right handyman to purchase and make their own.
- Think about the future, if you are child that will be needing a specific school district in 5 years, don’t bother buying a house outside that desired school zone. Honestly if you can afford it yet and are going to make the move to that region in 5 years, wait to buy.
- Look for lease to own (rent to own) properties if you get shot down by a requirement from a lender. Lease to own properties are always great ways to get into the same house/ area with a fraction of the money up front.