Common Mistakes Made By First Time Home Buyers

Dated: June 9 2015

Views: 373

Are you sure you’re ready to take the plunge and buy your first home? It’s important to remember that a house is not just a home -- it’s a long-term investment that requires logical decision making processes.  Emotions and/or lack of knowledge should not be the backbone of one of the most important investments in your life. Here are a couple of mistakes that most first time home buyers make:


Mistake #1: Guesstimating what you can afford.  


While online mortgage calculators have their place, they cannot replace a good old fashioned meeting with a lender. It is crucial that you are realistic about what you can afford by getting pre-approved. This will set parameters for your house hunt and keep you from exerting time and energy looking at homes that are out of your price range. And while we’re on the subject of knowing what you can afford, it is important to remember that just because a lender pre-approves you for a certain amount, that does not mean you should spend that much!  Ultimately, you are responsible for the loan, so make sure the mortgage payment is doable and that you take into consideration other potential expenses.


Wondering why getting pre-approved for financing is so important? Check out the guidelines I posted here before getting started in the search for your right home.


Mistake #2:  Refusing professional help.


First time home buyers need a reputable real estate agent, a good loan officer, and an honest inspector.


Aside from pulling comps, showing you homes, working negotiations, and organizing the closing; a good realtor will listen to your needs/wants, help you find homes within your budget, and will ALWAYS do what is in your best interest. A realtor’s expertise is essential and it is especially important to find one that you can trust and you can work well with. (And since the sellers pay both commissions, it only makes sense to have someone on your side!)


Mistake #3:  Overlooking additional fees.


It’s admirable that you’re confident that you can afford your monthly mortgage payments; however, it is important to be aware of the fact that there are additional expenses to owning a home. HOA dues, increased utility costs, private mortgage insurance, repairs/maintenance, and property taxes are just a few examples of these frequently forgotten fees. So make sure that mortgage is covered, but be sure to save up for these other bills as well.


Mistake #4: Forgoing a home inspection.


Opting out of a professional inspection may seem like a wise idea to save money, however, it could end up being an extremely costly mistake. Hidden damages on your dream home, often caught by inspectors, can result in expensive ongoing repairs. Don’t let an anxious seller rush the process by discouraging an inspection. It is important to ensure that you are not throwing away your money into a property plagued with problems.


Make sure to do your own research so you’ll be more knowledgeable when you’re ready to buy your first home: attend seminars, look for first time home buyer programs, and of course find the RIGHT real estate agent. It’s my job to help ensure that your home buying experience is a positive one and to explain everything you need to know about the process. Call us and we will be happy to assist you.

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Heather Wright

In the competitive Des Moines market, Heather Wright combines client-focused service, innovative marketing techniques, and a decade of experience to make sure that your buying or selling experience is....

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