There’s nothing quite like buying a home for the first time. It’s an almost indescribable excitement, joy, and pride that you’ll feel when you set foot in a place that’s truly your own. Of course, there are a few steps you’ll have to take before you can get there—and on the journey, there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. Fortunately, knowing what not to do can help ensure that the process is smooth and successful.
If you’re purchasing a home for the first time, here are five mistakes you should avoid…
1) Forgoing pre-approval
One of the biggest missteps many home buyers make is forgoing pre-approval. Taking this first step towards securing a mortgage is simple—and the benefits it can provide are well worth the effort.
During the process, a lender will look closely at your finances to determine how much they’ll likely offer you. While pre-approval isn’t an absolute guarantee that you’ll be fully approved, it is enough to show most sellers you’re a credible buyer who’s ready to make a home purchase!
2) Being unrealistic
You deserve to find your dream home. We’re talking about a place where you can imagine spending some of the happiest moments of your life. A living space like that should just feel right—but it won’t be absolutely perfect.
The truth is, flawless homes don’t exist. Unfortunately, some buyers don’t know that until it’s too late. They pass over beautiful properties capable of meeting their needs because they’re waiting for absolute perfection. Your best bet is to look for a place that checks all of your most important boxes, while giving you that “at home” feeling.
3) Overlooking serious flaws
Some features are easy to fall in love with, like an incredible layout or beautiful architectural details. While it makes sense to factor these “pros” into your purchase decision, it’s not a good idea to ignore any major issues a home might have because of them.
From mould growth to a shoddy foundation, some potential problems deserve your attention. No matter how much you adore a home, make sure you investigate any suspected red flags.
4) Not protecting yourself
Purchasing a home isn’t something you do every day, which is why most buyers don’t know what their due diligence should entail. In most circumstances, it will include a thorough inspection—and possibly the right set of conditions added to your purchase agreement.
In the simplest terms, a home-buying condition is a requirement that must be fulfilled for your purchase to be finalized. For example, a financing condition states that you don’t have to complete your transaction if your mortgage falls through. Your agent can help you take steps like this to reduce the potential risk associated with your purchase.
5) Underestimating costs
A home is the biggest investment most buyers will ever make. Given the price tag involved, it’s not surprising that many forget to factor in (comparatively) smaller expenses. The problem is, they have a way of adding up.
To pave the way for a smooth purchase, leave plenty of room in your budget for ongoing homeownership expenses. You should also make sure you understand the closing costs involved—such as legal fees and land transfer tax.
Buying a home for the first time may seem daunting, and it’s natural to worry about making mistakes. The good news is, an experienced agent can provide the guidance you need to make a smooth, low-stress, and all-around successful purchase.
Are ready to start the search for your first home? Reach out today to get started!