Don't Make These 6 Common Home Buying Blunders
So you're revved up and ready to leap into the world of homeownership—can't blame you, it's a thrilling journey. But whoa there, slow down, Turbo! As much as I'd love to picture you racing toward your dream home, wind in your hair and a smile stretching from ear to ear, we've got some serious pitfalls to sidestep. Trust me, these are no small missteps; they're the kind of blunders that can turn your home-buying sprint into a cringe-worthy faceplant.
I'm talking major league mistakes, folks. Ever think about getting pre-qualified but then put it off until it's almost too late? Or find yourself so wrapped up in a house that you forget to think with your head? These aren't mere hiccups or funny stories you'll laugh about later. Nah, these are the things that could derail your homeownership dreams and throw your whole game off balance.
So here's what we're gonna do: we're diving deep to tackle these classic errors before they tackle you. Think of this as your ultimate cheat sheet for avoiding home-buying fumbles. You in? Great, because it's time to kick some serious real estate butt!
1. Waiting Until The Last Minute To Get Pre-Qualified
Before you get lost in the excitement of scrolling through dream homes, let's talk money, specifically mortgage preapproval. Trust me, it's your golden ticket in the home-buying process.
Why? Well, it shows you what you can realistically afford so you don't end up window shopping in a store you can't afford. Plus, sellers are more likely to take you seriously when you've got a lender backing you up.
Getting preapproved is pretty straightforward. You'll connect with a mortgage advisor, such as The Wealth Captain, and show them the nitty-gritty like your recent pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. They'll check your credit score and boom—now you know exactly how much they're willing to lend you.
So, if they say you're good for $400,000, you can skip those $500,000 listings and focus on what's in your lane, saving yourself time and potential disappointment if you fall in love with a home that's more than you can qualify for. Plus, in a market where you're up against other buyers, that preapproval could be the tiebreaker that gets your foot in the door. Sellers love buyers who come prepared. It makes the whole deal less of a gamble for them.
2. Choosing "cheap" over "value"
When you are shopping for a home, you will have two very important choices to make. You will have to choose a Real Estate Agent to represent you, and a Mortgage Advisor to guide you. The agent and mortgage advisor that you choose can make the difference between a smooth and enjoyable experience vs. a difficult and stressful one.
Most people will automatically look at the bottom line and choose the agent and/or mortgage advisor that costs them the least amount of money in the end. While this is a very natural and understandable instinct, purchasing a home is a very large, possibly the single largest, purchase in your life. And choosing who will represent and guide you through this process should go beyond the bottom line.
You should have "interviews" with any agent or mortgage advisor that you are considering working with. Make sure that they are experienced in your local area, and have the necessary expertise to get you across the finish line smoothly.
Choosing poorly up front could end up costing you additional money, time, and stress throughout the process.
3. Loose Lips Sinks Ships
Alright, listen up! You know how you can't wait to share your excitement when you're walking through a potential dream home? Hold that thought, especially if the seller or their agent is hovering around. Trust me, oversharing can backfire big time.
Why? Well, let's say you blurt out that you're racing against the school year clock. Guess who's gonna use that against you in negotiations? Yep, the seller or their agent will catch wind of it and may think you're desperate enough to up the price.
So what's the game plan? Keep your cards close to your chest. Whether you're head over heels for the place or finding flaws, save those thoughts for a one-on-one chat with your own agent. It makes your negotiation position stronger and gives you the upper hand. Keep it cool, and let's make smart moves out there!
4. Don't Forget About Closing Costs
So you've been diligently socking away money for that down payment, right? Good on you! Whether you're aiming for the 3% or going all the way up to 20%, that's usually top of mind. But wait, there's more—don't forget about those sneaky closing costs.
In mortgage we use the phrase "cash to close". This is the total monies required to close the transaction, and it includes both your down payment and your closing costs.
Here's the lowdown: lenders, title companies, home appraisers, and home inspectors all have fees when you're finalizing your mortgage. How much are we talking about? Well, the total could range from 3% to 6% of the loan amount, depending on your situation. So, if you're eyeing a $400,000 home, you might have to cough up an extra $12,000 to $24,000 in closing costs.
Now, some sellers may be willing to bail you out here. Depending on the situation you may be able to negotiate seller concessions to cover some or even all of these closing costs. This is another reason choosing the right real estate agent and mortgage lender is clutch. They'll give you the 411 on what to expect, and help you structure an offer that is best for you while also giving you the highest chance of winning the house.
5. Look At More Than Just The House
Look, buying a house is more than a business deal; it's often a rollercoaster of emotions. It's super easy to feel smitten when you find a home that checks all your boxes. But here's where the plot thickens—sometimes that excitement makes you blind to a home's downsides.
Ever swooned over a house only to realize later it's practically on a freeway? Or maybe you didn't think about how busy traffic gets when school gets out right down the street? These are classic blunders, usually made because people get tunnel vision. They fall in love and decide they're all in, consequences be damned.
So what's the smarter play? Don't just eyeball the house—scope out the neighborhood too. If the area's a buzzkill, trust me, you won't enjoy that dream home as much as you think. Keep the rose-colored glasses off until you've seen the whole picture.
6. Don't Skip The Home Inspection
Alright, let's get into it—once you've got that contract signed for your future home, you've got a golden ticket: the right to a home inspection. Now, don't snooze on this. An inspector will walk through the place and give you the 411 on any issues. Find something off? You've got options: get the seller to fix it, negotiate a lower price, or snag some credit to handle those repairs yourself.
But here's a face-palm moment you'll want to avoid: some folks get the inspection, see red flags, and then... do nothing. According to von Beck, you're just asking for a headache and a hefty repair bill down the line if you choose to ignore these problems. So, stay sharp and make that inspection count.
Alright, you've hung in there with me, and we've gone through the gauntlet of common home-buying mistakes. These aren't just tips to skim; they're real-deal strategies to make sure you don't trip up on the way to snagging your dream home.
From getting prequalified early to playing it cool during house tours, and even down to scrutinizing those closing costs—these are the insider moves that could make or break your experience. So, let's keep it smart, keep it savvy, and most of all, let's get you into that home you've been daydreaming about.
Trust me, with a little prep and a lot of awareness, that 'Sold' sign is well within your grasp. Let's make it happen!