Offered by: Dan Cochran – The Haven Team, Keller Williams
Buying a home can be an anxiety-ridden process, and that potential anxiety gets amplified for anyone who’s embarking on homeownership for the very first time. There’s so much to do and so much you don’t know that “being overwhelmed” hardly seems like an appropriate description of how it feels.
And even though you don’t want to scare yourself away from the entire process, you still need to be wary of falling into a few common traps that first-time buyers generally don’t avoid. If you’re aware of these five potential mistakes — and able to keep yourself from making them — then you’ll be saving yourself some significant stress on your home buying journey.
Not understanding your down payment options – The biggest headache for so many first-time buyers is the down payment. If you’ve ever bought a car, then you’re probably familiar with the concept — it’s money that you contribute to the total cost of the purchase.
Not getting prequalified for a loan – Between the amount of money you plan to put down on the home, the potential PMI and other cost factors, your monthly cost could be significantly more (or possibly less) than some of those calculators will show you online.
Not finding a qualified real estate professional – It’s so easy to find homes online these days that you may wonder why a real estate professional is even necessary. After all, isn’t the hard part — finding the place you want to buy — something you can do yourself?
Not spending the night in the neighborhood – If it’s at all possible, see if you can find an Airbnb or another vacation-rental type of setup where you can crash for a night or two — preferably closer to a week — so you can try your new neighborhood on for size.
Not understanding what’s fixable and what’s a deal-breaker – Those drop panels in the ceiling are hideous, and you can’t imagine how anyone can fit into that minuscule bathtub. This is another area where a good real estate agent can help. They see so many houses in various stages of repair and updating that they can show you where you can claim another foot or two for bathtub space (and help you figure out how much it will cost and who’s trustworthy enough to take on the job) or let you know that the ceilings are too low for any changes to make much of a difference. They can also give you an idea of what’s up to code and what simply won’t pass an inspection in 2019, so you know what concessions to request as soon as you’re ready to make an offer.