Buying your first home can be an exciting and fulfilling venture but it could also be scary. However knowing the common mistakes of a first time home buyer will ensure you don’t make the same ones, and can help make the transition to “Landlord” that much smoother.
Many a times people endure staying in a rented apartment, not even with the hassles challenges and limitations the landlords pose to tenants. In fact if grains of sand were used as legal tenders everyone should be a landlord. In as much as home ownership is a laudable achievement, there are mistakes a first time home buyer can make easily due to the ‘cloud 9’ feeling that comes with this life changing acquisition.
1. Spending Too Much
It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford as a first time home buyer. The final sale price isn’t the only cost to take into account when owning a home. Houses come with plenty of bills and occasional unforeseen costs.
What you can do about it: Take a close look at your finances. Be aware of your current fixed costs and always leave some breathing room. Ask the homeowners and landlords what they spend in a year on their bills, house renovations and repairs, property taxes e.t.c, so there aren’t any surprises.
2. Buying Without Thinking About The Location
Sure the house is gorgeous, fully renovated and painted in your favourite colour. But it’s on a busy road and its not gated coupled with the fact that you have three young kids who like to run and play out a lot
What you can do about it: Be smart! Visit the house at least twice (you’d be surprised at how your opinion can change on a second and third visit) and think critically. Go through every aspect of the house, every room, every floor, its location and neighbourhood and really try to picture yourselves in the house and the location for years down the road.
3. Not Working With a Real Estate Professional
You don’t need a real estate agent or professional to buy a house but before disregarding the importance of a buyer’s agent, understand that the seller’s agent has his or her client’s best interest in mind, not yours. They’ll offer you advice and answer your questions, but ultimately, this person is there to serve the seller. For this reason find yourself a real estate agent or real estate professional.
A buyer’s agent can guide you in the right direction, help negotiate your bid, counter an offer, and organize the closing process. And since the seller pays both agent’s commissions, it only makes sense to have an agent on your side
4. Not Doing Your Research
Blindly buying a home can be a big mistake. Whether you’re paying too much attention to your friends and family who just love the place or are feeling the pressure to make a quick buy, moving into a house that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted can be a big, expensive, regretful mistake.
What you can do about it: Do your research! And do it first-hand. No agent or family member can know exactly what you want more than you. Spend a day walking the neighbourhood, learn about your neighbours, research the local school and visit the important places
5. Falling In Love With The House
Buying a home is exciting and daunting but doing your due diligence can make the process a little easier, and get you into your dream home with stress. Falling in love can be an amazing thing. It makes you happy to be alive and allows you to see the inner beauty of another. Falling in love can also be a terrible thing. It makes a fool out of you and blinds you to someone’s faults until the spell wears off and it’s too late. Likewise, although it sounds ideal, falling in love with a house could be your worst financial mistake. It can lead to temporary blindness and deafness, where you stubbornly ignore the solid advice of friends and experts.
Sure, different people have different needs. Some people seek out homes that they feel an emotional connection to. But, you should still take extra caution once you find your dream house. Think about how you will feel once the honeymoon phase’s over.
Ultimately, falling in love with a house will very likely blind you to its financial value. You might find yourself offering a bid that far exceeds the true worth of the house, which makes for a bad investment. And, if you expose your infatuation to the seller or the seller’s agent, they’ll realize you’ll be willing to overpay.
Overall, when buying a house, it’s a good idea to keep a cool head and an open mind, and always be prepared for the worst.