Purchasing a home can be extremely rewarding, both financially and personally. But for a first time buyer (or even someone who has purchased before) the process can be extremely stressful.
Below, a few common mistakes to avoid when purchasing your home.
- Not getting preapproved by a mortgage lender. This is by far the most common mistake buyers make. Many buyers think just because they have good credit and a great salary they’ll have no problem qualifying for a home loan. This is simply not true. Aside from these key pieces, buyers also need to show steady employment history (especially those who are considered “independent contractors” or work on commission) and their debt-to-income ratio must meet certain guidelines in order to qualify. This is such an easily avoidable mistake. I work with numerous lenders who can preapprove buyers in about 20 minutes. Getting preapproved should always be step 1 in the home buying process, in order to establish a realistic budget.
- Not establishing a good set of criteria. Many buyers think they’re being “easy” by not having a list of needs and wants. And while being too specific or picky can pose a problem, the opposite is also true. Buyers need to be able to communicate their needs and wants to streamline the search process. Even just a few search parameters (location, covered parking, schools, etc.) can ensure a more effective home search.
- Not being prepared to make an offer. Buying a home is a nerve-wracking experience. But buyers have to have the ability to pull the trigger and write an offer. While most buyers don’t buy the first or second property they see (even though I have had it happen!) looking at 60 properties to make sure you’ve picked the right one isn’t a smart tactic. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand when you just can’t find quite what you’re looking for, and this is not the situation I’m talking about. I have worked with buyers for almost a year, waiting for the right home to come along (and when it did, they jumped on it!) When buyers have the mindset of seeing a bunch (and by a bunch I don’t mean 10 or so; I mean 50-60) just for the sake of seeing things, they typically miss out on a great home (because someone else will jump on it!) Buying a home is like any other commitment you make in your life. When you find the right one, you don’t keep looking!