When you going through the buying process there are lots of mistakes you can make, but some of them are more common than others. Here are 6 of the most common mistakes made by home buyers.
1. Selecting the wrong neighborhood
Selecting the right neighborhoods should be one of the first things you do during the home buying process. It doesn’t matter how ideal your home is, if it’s in the wrong neighborhood then the chances are you will not be happy with your purchase. Another advantage of choosing the neighborhood first is it focuses your home search, after all there is no point in looking at homes in an area your don’t want to live.
2. Not knowing exactly what your home requirements are.
Is there any point at looking at homes with just 2 bedrooms when you want at least 3 bedrooms? Well you will be surprised how many buyers really don’t have a clear understanding of the key requirements they want in their next home. To make this easier make a list of all the mandatory and optional requirements you have. That way it will focus your home search and make the home buying process much easier in the long run.
3. Not knowing your budget.
One of the first questions I ask a home buyer is, have you been pre-approved for a mortgage and how much do you want to spend. It is no good to anyone if you start looking at homes in the $500,000 range, when you can only get pre-qualified for $300,000. Once you know your budget then you can decide on neighborhoods and home features, until then it’s just pie in the sky.
4. Not staying on top of new listings.
When you are looking for a home in a hot housing market, or if you are looking in a highly desirable neighborhood, it is important to stay on top of new listings coming on the market. The easiest way to do this is to have your Realtor setup something called an auto hot-sheet. Then when new homes that meet your requirements are listed (or homes have a price reduction), you will receive an email notification. After all you don’t want to miss out on your ideal home because another buyer beat you to the draw.
5. Not having a home inspection.
While you might think you are saving yourself a few hundred dollars, it may actually be the most expensive mistake you make. We always recommend that you take the option of having a formal home inspection performed by a qualified home inspector. It’s the best way of spotting any potential problems before you buy a home, rather than moving in and finding out you have some expensive problems that you have to fix.
6. Rushing the purchase.
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life, so why rush into it. It should be well planned, with great care and attention taken on deciding the neighborhood you want to live in and the requirements you need in a home.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is with people who are renting a property, and wait until their lease is almost up before embarking on the home buying process. Remember even if you have to move out of a property, it might well be worth moving into temporary accommodation and ensuring you are buy the property you want and is right for you, rather than just something that is available.
Having said all this when you do find the right home, you may have to move fast. This is especially true in hot housing markets or for high demand areas. In these circumstances homes can often have offers within hours of being listed on the market, so you must be prepared to move fast and make an offer. The secret is to move fast on the right home for you.
The original 6 Common Mistakes Home Buyers Make article appeared on my Salt Lake Real Estate Blog.