First-Time Home Buyer Tips (Avoid These Mistakes When Buying a House)

The home-buying process should be and can be such an exciting time. Of course, it’s such a big decision and often one of the biggest moments in someone’s life, so we want to make sure you feel educated and ready for the process ahead as we talk about seven of the mistakes when buying a house that we often see, especially from first-time home buyers.

First-Time Home Buyer Tips (Avoid These Mistakes When Buying a House)

Don’t pick the wrong agent

The one thing we want to avoid from the very beginning is working with the wrong real estate professional. Did you know that 75% of home buyers only connect with one agent? That is often where some problems can come into play. If buyers can take the time to look at a realtor’s track record, reviews, sales history, and how long somebody’s been in business, then they are able to better understand if they’re choosing someone who has the experience and expertise to navigate them through the market. If you want to take it a step further, buyers could also interview a couple of agents and ask some very pointed questions about what those agents may do differently to represent that buyer in the current market conditions.

A buyer may go on Zillow or another website, click on a house, and call that realtor. While that’s not a bad way to get started, a buyer shouldn’t feel like that’s the end of the road in choosing their realtor. As a buyer, you really want to do your due diligence because that process can mean everything to your experience in purchasing your home. 

Don’t wait to get pre-approved

The next thing we want to avoid is having a home buyer start their search process not being pre-approved for a mortgage. We don’t want a buyer to get out there, get excited and tour homes, fall in love with something, and then all of a sudden have to backtrack to get their financing squared away. Maybe they’re not excited or happy about what their monthly payment would be so we can avoid all of that by taking care of financing first. 

Avoid having unrealistic market expectations

Another mistake we don’t want to make is having unrealistic expectations about the market. This can often be taken care of in the initial consultation with your realtor, but an example of this would be a buyer who thinks that maybe they can negotiate a ton off of every home that they see, but that may not be the reality of the current market. Or maybe a buyer thinks that they have plenty of time to make decisions because homes will just sit on the market, while the reality of the market is the complete opposite. It’s really important to have realistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations can often lead to a very troublesome and tough home-buying process.

Avoid choosing style over structure

Our next thing to help buyers avoid is choosing style over structure. We have seen this a million times. Imagine this, a buyer will walk through a home, be enamored by how a seller has decorated the home, and then completely forget to look at all of the important things, like the structure of a house. The importance of this is critical, so as real estate professionals, we’re going to look past the style and focus on the structure. This includes the layout of a home, the foundation, the age of the mechanicals, the roof, and all of the big ticket items to get buyers to see the entire picture.

Avoid ignoring the resale ability of a home

The next thing we want to avoid is ignoring the resale ability of a home. This is absolutely critical. For most people, the home is their number one and the largest investment in their life, and we have to make sure the resale ability is going to be safe for them in the future. Going back to that structure and style conversation, we want to avoid big things that a buyer may not be thinking about that are going to affect the sale quality of the home in the future. This could be potential future development around the home, busy streets, the foundation, and the layout. There are many things that are going to affect the resale ability, so we want to do our best to avoid ignoring that conversation.

Don’t waive the home inspection (when possible)

Now this comes into play when you have a home under contract and you’re really excited, we want to try to avoid waiving the home inspection or hiring the wrong home inspector. Of course, there have been circumstances in this crazy seller’s market where there have been plenty of buyers that have waived home inspections, and that’s okay! In some circumstances, if a buyer’s very educated in a home and they’re feeling very comfortable, this may be a strategic move, but in most cases, we’re going to tell you to avoid waiving the home inspection. This is a critical time for a buyer to do any and all due diligence to get an understanding of anything and everything about how the house works, how the mechanicals work, and what future repairs to expect. This is one of the most important parts of the home-buying process, and we really want you to avoid waiving the inspections or hiring the wrong home inspector.

Avoid not budgeting for everything that a home needs after you close

The final mistake we want you to avoid would be not budgeting for everything that a home needs after you close and move in. Obviously, this can be a number of things, like repairs, furniture, or even utilities. Whatever it may be, you want to make sure you’re ready. We talk about this with our buyers from the start to make sure that they have more than the closing costs and down payment. We need to anticipate all the money you’re going to need when you move into the house, and while you don’t have to do everything right away, you do want to make sure you can care for the home so it is not neglected and you’re not living in an empty house with no furniture. Keep in mind the budget you’ll want and need for the excitement of moving into the house.

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