Avoid Typical Home Buying Mistakes
Follow these tips to avoid making typical home buying mistakes:
Tip #1 - Know What You Want: Before looking for a new home, make a list of your top priorities. Everyone has different priorities and yours should be kept in mind when you look through the listings with your realtor. How many bedrooms and baths do you prefer? Would you like a single story or a multiple story home? How about a single family home or a condo/townhome? Do you want a large yard or do you want to avoid yard needs? Do you have school preferences or location preferences? What price range should you search? Make sure you have your "want list" before picking homes to see. You don't want to waste a lot of time visiting homes that won't meet your needs.
Tip #2 - Talk to a Lender: It's a good idea to talk to a lender before starting your home search. Most lenders or mortgage brokers will not charge you to talk to them about what priced home you can qualify for and, more importantly, what priced home you can comfortably afford. A big mistake is to look at homes in a higher price range, only to find out later that you are in over your head. The more comfortably-priced homes that you will then have to look at, may not be as appealing after seeing the higher priced homes.
Tip #3 - Scout: A first-time buyer who's savvy with the computer may think that the Internet has all the information about a home. Although the net is a great tool, don't rely on the pictures and descriptions alone. It's always a good idea to drive by the homes you're interested in and check out the neighborhoods to be sure you like the area. A good time to drive a neighborhood is between 5pm and 7pm. Also, examine the surrounding area to be sure it meets your needs.
Tip #4 - Get the Right Help: Be sure to have an experienced agent on your side. This is the person you are choosing to represent you and your interests. An experienced agent will help to guide you through the whole buying process, from viewing homes to negotiating the contract, inspections and on to the closing. Have the real estate agent explain the process as you go along, especially if you're a first time buyer.
Tip #5 - Use Your Head: You'll look at homes with your heart, but be sure to look with your head as well. You'll want to be sure that your new home will meet your needs, not only at the time you buy, but for as long as you plan on staying in that particular home. Also, consider the resale value (your experienced realtor can help you with this). You will want to be sure that the home does not have major drawbacks that would make it difficult for you to sell in the future. List the positives and negatives of the homes you're interested in and judge them fairly.
Tip #6 - Get the Home Inspected: Have the home inspected by a professional home inspector. It's always good to know any issues with the home, prior to closing. Many issues can be taken care of under the contract if allowances were made. The home inspector is also often willing to show you important things about the functions and maintenance of many of the home's features.
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