It can be pretty intimidating to dip your toes into the realm of home ownership, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. To make things worse, there are a number of myths floating around out there surrounding the home buying process.
Such misconceptions have many kept many would-be homeowners from realizing the personal and financial rewards of owning a property. To clear things up, here are 4 myths about buying your first home that simply aren't true.
Myth #1 - "It's Cheaper To Rent Instead Of Own":
If you buy a property that is within your budget and your mortgage terms allow you to make comfortable monthly payments, the cost of rent can often be higher than mortgage payments.
Sure, there are other expenses associated with owning a property that you wouldn't be responsible for if you were renting, but one thing that many people forget is the fact that renting does not allow you to build equity.
The ability to build equity into a property that you own is like paying into a savings account - if you buy a home for $200,000, and pay down your mortgage to $175,000 in 5 years, you'll have $25,000 in home equity that can be tapped into later if you need a lump sum of cash to pay for other large expenses.
If you sell your property down the line, any equity that the property has accumulated will provide you with more profit from the sale of the home.
Myth #2 - "Whatever Shows Up On The Inspection Report Is The Seller's Responsibility":
Most offers on a home usually come with a home inspection condition that makes the offer contingent on the acceptance of a home inspection report by the buyer. Many buyers, however, are under the impression that sellers are responsible for any issues that show up on the inspection report.
Although the seller is required to make certain major repairs as stipulated by the lender, everything is still negotiable. A buyer may ask the seller to fix a minor crack in the basement wall or repair any scuff marks on the hardwood flooring, but the seller can essentially refuse, leaving the buyer with the decision of whether or not to continue with the offer anyway.
Myth #3 - "The Perfect Home Is Out There - I Just Have To Wait For It":
Buyers have a tendency to focus too much on all the little things that may be wrong about a house rather than on the majority of the things that are right. Homes are much like people - they aren't perfect. Even brand new homes might have a few minor flaws.
The goal of a house hunt is to find the perfectly acceptable home - one that may have a couple of quirks that you can either live with or fix, but is otherwise ideal. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you identify issues that are deal-breakers, and help keep some perspective by separating irritating details from the big picture.
Myth #4 - "I Don't Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy A House":
Without the proper team behind you - especially if you're a first-time homebuyer - you could potentially find yourself in a compromised position. Many buyers don't take the time necessary to shop for an agent who can best represent them in their purchase.
Think about it this way – would you perform surgery on yourself? Do you feel comfortable filing your own income taxes, or do you opt to use the services of an accountant? Being represented by a licensed real estate agent will give you the benefit of professional skills and knowledge, including the ability to find financing and close the deal with your best interests put first.
It’s always in your best interests to have an experienced, knowledgeable agent representing you in a home purchase. With such a major investment on the line, you want to have someone who can help you complete a purchase leaving no stone unturned, and ultimately saving you money - and a lot of headaches.
A professional real estate agent will be able to sort the myths from the reality and make your first home-buying experience a positive one.