Top Home Buying Mistakes

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Buying a home is perhaps the most arduous, expensive and, ultimately, valuable acquisition you'll ever complete

Just one mistake could mean disaster -- perhaps the worst mistake you'll ever make.

In order to avoid titanic trip ups during such a trying transaction, suggests buyers get to know the most common home buying blunders.

To know them is to avoid them.

 Buying a house is a complex transaction. It should be a team effort. You'll need a real estate agent, lender, inspector, insurer, Title Company or perhaps a lawyer and other team members to help you through each step of the way. Ask your realtor for suggestions.

Your home should fit your real needs, not your yen for drama. Buy a home that fits your budget and your lifestyle. Be sure the home is in a community and neighborhood you desire. Visit neighborhoods several times before you buy to check out schools, noise and traffic patterns.

 Being pre-qualified gives you a general idea of how much you can afford to borrow. It's better to be pre-approved for a given loan. Sellers will take you more seriously. You'll stay on budget.

Don't buy more than you could truly afford, in part, led to the collapse of the housing market. Buy more than you can afford and your dream home will become the same nightmare. Analyze all your monthly costs including debts, food, transportation, entertainment, and savings. Your total monthly debts, including your mortgage, should not exceed 36 percent of your income before taxes. Don't forget to budget closing cost (often two to five percent of the home's purchase price), plus moving, redecorating and maintenance. Look ahead and allow for increases in ongoing expenses such as utilities and taxes.

You are engaged in what's likely your most valuable acquisition ever. It's a business transaction. You need a professional that will listen and address your needs.

Always get agreements in writing. The rate lock, the home inspection, disclosures, the contract. Should a dispute arise, you've got the details documented.

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