Whether you’re getting married, looking for more space to raise a family, want to stop renting and start investing, or maybe you’re looking for a rental property you can make some extra cash on – The reasons people have for wanting to buy a home can vary. However, whatever your reason, you’ll want to be sure to avoid these top 4 mistakes (trust me, you can’t afford to make them!)
#1: Let’s start by talking about “Agent Hopping” – This is something I’ve covered on my Instagram account and stories multiple times! Make sure you do your research on an agent and then choose someone that has your best interests in mind. You also need to make sure that they vibe well with your vibe and they are on the same page as you. A good agent is able to educate you on the process, keep you in the loop and not let you fall down a well of bad home choices. They are able to give you details about the market that you may not know.
You’ll want to interview agents before you start looking at homes so that you can find someone you trust to be your advocate throughout the entire process. Buying a home is often the biggest financial investment you will make and you’ll want someone who works in this industry to be your advocate along the way.
#2: Not calculating the costs associated with buying a home – Purchase price, check! Down payment, check! All set? Nope! There are other costs associated with buying a home that you’ll want to be aware of well before the time comes. Your down payment could potentially be the largest expense but there is also the earnest money deposit, the home inspection, the appraisal, radon testing, and other expenses you’ll want to talk to your Realtor and Lender about.
Aside from the costs you “know” about, there are also appraisal costs, title costs, home inspection, termite, and closing costs! I’ve come across a couple of clients that didn’t know that they needed to have money ready at the closing table after talking to a lender. Closing costs can vary so if you talk to your agent, they are able to give a rough estimate of what they will be at the time of closing so you can be prepared. This could possibly delay your purchase if you need to save up so don’t let it sneak up on you!
#3: Skipping the Home Inspection – I’m going to 1000% discourage EVER skipping a home inspection. You may think that is unnecessary but there are so many major issues that a home could potentially have that you’re not going to notice during a walkthrough. In this market, it’s common to ask for a home inspection but then note in the offer to the sellers that you will be waiving any repairs that may be small. Your agent can give you some recommended inspection companies and you’re free to shop around for the best fit for you.
#4: House hunting without a pre-approval – I’m sure you’ve heard this one as your eyes roll back into your head and you think “enough is enough with the pre-approval!” As much as it may sound like a broken record, it is a big deal and you’ll want to know why! For starters, I won’t show you a home without a pre-approval letter and neither will most agents that I know. Most sellers won’t entertain an offer without one either. Getting pre-approved does not take long and it will save you potential heartbreak in the future. Imagine finding the home of your dreams, you go to put in an offer and THEN you find out you are not qualified for the amount. You’ve not only wasted your time, your agent’s time, the seller’s time, and now you’re sad and discouraged. I don’t want to see you sad and discouraged.
If you haven’t found a lender you want to work with or gotten pre-approved, you may be shopping outside of your budget. You might know what your monthly budget is but there are several other factors taken into consideration besides your paycheck. Have you checked your credit score lately? Do you know your debt to income ratio? What about the various types of loans and what they entail? Some will require higher down payments than others. I can help you find the right lender and fit for you.
If you’re ready to jump into the home buying process right now, make sure you’re avoiding these big mistakes! If you want to discuss this in more detail, feel free to reach out and we can set up a time to grab coffee (your go-to coffee order is on me!) I love teaching buyers about the ins and outs of the home buying process to ensure they have the best experience possible and avoid any mistakes that can throw you for a loop!
I look forward to chatting with you!
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