Buying a home is a very exciting process, especially when it’s your first time. Your aim is to end up in a home that you love at a price you can afford. Take a look at these 5 first time home buyer mistakes and how to avoid them.
5 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes
Not knowing what you can afford
Perhaps one of the most common first time home buyer mistakes is when buyers don’t know what they can afford. Falling into this trap can lead you to major disappointment or financial burden. If you don’t already have a budget make a list of all your monthly expenses including vehicle costs, student loans, credit cards, groceries, insurance, etc. Doing this exercise will help you stay aware of what you can afford so you are headed down the right track from the very beginning of the home buying process.
Failing to consider additional expenses
Just because your budget says you can afford a certain amount, doesn’t mean you should buy a home that reaches the maximum. Once you’re a home owner, you will have additional expenses on top of your monthly payment. Now that you’re a home owner, you’re responsible for home owner property taxes, maintenance costs, and hoa fees. The last thing you want is to move into a new home and then not have enough to maintain your new home.
Being too picky
Being too picky is one of the most popular home buying mistakes as it’s easy to get your heart set on a specific kind of home. First time home buyers often have to compromise on something, be it price, location, style, etc, since their funds are limited. Additionally, if you have tunnel vision for a certain type of home, you may miss opportunities because you’re only looking in one direction.
Neglecting the home inspection
The home inspection is one of the most important steps in buying a home, especially your first one. A home inspection gives you peace of mind that the home you’re moving into is working in all areas, and that the home seller needs to fix all maintenance issues before you move in. By spending less than $500 upfront, you’re ensuring that your furnace is good to go, your rood doesn’t need replaces, your crawl space is clear, and so forth. If you run into one of these issues down the road, it’s up to you and your wallet to fix it.
Not thinking about the future
Yes it’s great for you to get your foot in the market so you can start building equity. But be strategic when doing so. If you want to have kids down the line, say 3-5 years from now, it’s good to find a place that’s decently safe, and is in a good school district. Even though these factors may not be important to you now, you will thank yourself later so you don’t have to move for factors that could have been considered earlier. This can be one of the most costly first time home buyer mistakes.
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