Buying your first home is an exciting time. There’s no denying that the mortgage process is a stressful and lengthy one, and getting through that period with your approval in hand and the green light to go and look for your first time is undeniably stressful.
However, the rollercoaster isn’t over here; the next stage of the buying journey is about to begin and can make the mortgage application part seem like child’s play.
Finding the right home in such a competitive market where demand is still outstripping supply isn’t for the faint-hearted, and there are many mistakes that first-time buyers need to avoid. Getting the mortgage approval is only the first step in making nail-biting decisions, and as first-time buyers, you need to avoid doing the following things to make sure you make the right choice and find the perfect home for you.
Not Choosing Your Realtor Carefully
You need a realtor who doesn’t have a vested interest in getting a home sold or working for both sides. You want a dedicated realtor whose primary goal is to find a home that you can find and words for you and your needs. Not all realtors are equal, and doing your research to find someone who you feel comfortable with and who understands our search requirements will pay off in the long run. Talk to family and friends to find out who they used and what they know of realtors in the local area. Meet them first, ask them for references, and find out what they know about the local market and their reputation. Then, you can make more informed decisions.
Not Saving for Costs
Forgetting to save enough for the costs associated with buying a home is a significant oversight and one that doesn’t work in your favor. You need to have your down payment squared away and ready for the sale and completion based on the assessed home value but you also need an additional fund for your closing costs and other costs involved in this process. Your closing costs can be from 2% to 6% of your mortgage value, and you can expect to pay additional charges, including for a title search company to check the legalities of the home you are interested in buying, surveys, appraisal fees, real estate attorney fees, lender fees, property tax and more. These aren’t always included in closing costs, and all must be paid upfront. Check with your realtor for what is included in closing costs and how much it is, and you can keep enough money aside for these.
Not Knowing What You Need
Your wants and needs differ vastly, and both will want to play a part in the final decision. But choosing a home over what you need is a big mistake that can cost you financially. Be strict with yourself over what you can afford, what you need the house to have, and where you need it to be. Rarely are first homes forever homes, and they should be a chance to experience homeownership and life before growing into your home. Do you need to be on good transport links? Or maybe you’re planning on starting a family or already have one, so you need to be close to schools. How many bedrooms do you need, and what do you need the home to have? While turnkey properties are desirable, as are new builds, they often come with a cost associated with them, and they can blind you into buying a home that doesn’t meet your needs simply because of their eye-catching aesthetics and ability to move in, unpack, and live your life right away.
Not Inspecting Homes Properly
This is a big no-no. Don’t just walk around a house on viewings; take your time to really inspect it and look for signs of recent repairs, fresher paint on walls, strategically placed furniture, etc, to discover any telltale signs something is wrong. While many homes are flying off the market, if you don’t inspect the property prior to putting an offer in, you might find yourself walking into a literal house of horrors.
Take your time, inspect it properly, and don’t skip on getting a decent home survey carried out to enlighten you on any potential issues you might encounter should you buy it.
There’s no denying that there are many mistakes you can make as a first-time buyer, but rushing forward without considering the process of learning as much as possible about the home-buying experience, what to look for when buying houses, and the costs you need to pay can really set you back and leave a sour taste in your mouth.