Buying a home can be a very stressful and often confusing venture, particularly when it is your first time and you are unfamiliar with the process. Getting approved for a mortgage, finding the right real estate agent, finding your dream home and doing all of that while staying in your budget can be a challenge. Avoid the added stress of making a mistake in the process. Here are a few common first-time buyer mistakes you should avoid.
- Don’t forget that the cost of owning a home includes more than just the mortgage payment.
If you shop for a house at the top of your budget and base your decision to buy solely upon the mortgage payment, you could end up in a tight spot. You must also consider the costs of property taxes and homeowners insurance, homeowners association dues, and the maintenance of your home. If you are upgrading to a larger home, remember your heating and cooling bills are likely to be higher. Don’t make the rookie mistake of overlooking all the expenses beyond your monthly mortgage payment.
- Don’t start the homebuying process with the search.
Many first-time homebuyers make the mistake of looking for homes before getting prequalified for financing. This leads to problems like falling in love with a home that is outside their budget, or finding a home they love but not being able to make a timely offer. Instead, get prequalified for a mortgage so you know what you can afford and when the time comes and you want to make an offer, you and the seller know the money will be there.
- Don’t try to go it alone.
First-time homebuyers often underestimate the value of a good buyer’s agent. If you are new to the process you want an experienced and reputable buyers’ agent to guide you through. Buying a home is usually the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime, you want to be sure everything is done correctly.
- Don’t spend all of your savings on the down payment and closing costs.
This is a dangerous mistake often made by first-time homebuyers. Scraping together all you’ve saved to make a down payment or pay your closing costs will leave you without any savings and thereby in trouble should other expenses arise.
- Don’t make any big purchases before closing.
If you have been prequalified, found your dream home, signed the contract and are waiting to close, don’t assume you are in the clear. Lenders will typically run your credit again before closing to make sure that your financial situation hasn’t changed since pre-qualification. You don’t want them to find new loans, especially big purchases, because these things can jeopardize your financing. Instead wait until after closing to make big purchases.
Don’t add to what is often an already stressful process by making rookie mistakes. Find a good real estate professional to guide you through the process and avoid the common pitfalls of first-time home-buying.
If you are a first time buyer looking for properties in Bowie Homes in Bowie, MD to see current listings.
Click here to contact “Special” Ed Haraway