5 Common Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CENTURY 21 OneBlue BK3293206

Buying your first home for you and your family is often a stressful process. There are so many decisions that you have to make and houses to look at. My team and I work with a lot of first-time homebuyers so we thought we would put together a list of the commons mistakes first time homebuyers make. Before you start your Orlando home search, read through this blog and make sure you don’t make one of the five mistakes first-time homebuyers make.

Mistake #1 – Not Knowing Your Budget

Have you spoken with a mortgage lender and received a pre-qualification letter? If not, you’re not ready to start looking at homes. We recommend every first-time homebuyer speak with a mortgage lender to find out exactly what they qualify for and get a pre-qualification letter. This letter lets sellers know that you are a serious buyer and they should take your offer seriously. Additionally, this will help you and your REALTOR® refine your home search to just those homes that you qualify for. If you don’t have a lender in mind, please click here and complete this quick form and one of our preferred lending partners will reach out to you. All of our preferred lending partners are lenders that we know and trust that they will deliver the same level of service as our team does.

Mistake #2 – Not Thinking About the Future Costs

Most first-time homebuyers are transitioning from renting and are used to paying rent and utilities. Being a homeowner is huge responsibility and comes with many additional “costs of homeownership.” Many costs are easy to figure out like your property taxes, insurance and HOA dues. However, there are many other expenses that a lot of first-time homebuyers don’t calculate when figuring out what they can afford. Things like emergency repairs, appliance replacements, routine maintenance, roof replacement, exterior painting, and more. As a first-time homebuyer, it is important that you understand the full cost of homeownership. I always like to recommend that clients save 2-5% of the home’s value per year for unforeseen repairs, upgrades, and general maintenance costs. Properly maintaining your home will ensure that you protect your home’s value for the future.

Mistake #3 – Buying a Fixer-Upper

In the age of DIY & HGTV, everyone has become a self proclaimed “home improvement expert.” The reality is however that real life homeownership is nothing like those television shows. You’re not going to be able to change out your home’s flooring like a pro in a few hours, that’s just not reality. Many first-time homebuyers want to buy a fixer-upper with the intention of doing a full-scale renovation. We always try to encourage first-time homebuyers to look at homes that are generally move in ready. With a few simple, inexpensive cosmetic changes like painting walls, adding landscaping, or replacing a front door you can put your own personality into your new home without breaking the bank.

Mistake #4 – Skipping the Home Inspection

Just don’t do it. Hiring a qualified home inspector is simply a must do for any homebuyer, especially a first-time homebuyer. A home inspector will check out the home from top to bottom including walking the roof, crawling through the attic, and checking every single component of the home. A home inspection is a 3-4 hour process and the inspector will provide you a detailed report on the home with any potential red flags. This is important for any first-time homebuyer when calculating out the future costs of homeownership we talked about in mistake #2. For example, if the room only has 2-3 years of life left, that could be a $10,000 to $15,000 for a standard roof. It is important to know about these hidden costs and the only way to find out is through a home inspection. If you need a recommendation for a home inspector, click here to check out our preferred vendors.

Mistake # 5 – Not Hiring a REALTOR®

Today, first-time homebuyers have more resources at their fingertips than ever before. From websites like Zillow and Trulia to online property records and of course that family member who is a self-proclaimed “real estate expert,” first-time homebuyers often think they can do it alone. Big mistake. First, hiring a CENTURY 21 buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you anything, yup – I’m free to buyers. REALTORS® know the market, we understand how recent sales and homes under contract will impact a home’s value, and we can help guide you through the whole process. Not having an Orlando REALTOR® at your side is like going to court without an attorney, not a smart move.



About the Author - Orlando's Kevin Boudreaux, REALTOR®

REALTOR® Kevin Boudreaux is an experienced Orlando-based  with CENTURY 21 Roo Realty. One of the area's top producers, Kevin sold over $10MM in his first year as a real estate agent. He and his team are dedicated to putting their experience to work for their customers delivering world-class customer experiences while helping them buy or sell their home. 



Comments (16)

Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Welcome to ActiveRain, it's great to have you aboard. I hope to read more of your posts!

Aug 03, 2015 08:24 AM
Thomas F. Scanlon
Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's - Manchester, CT

Kevin Boudreaux - Well done. Budget is so key. Welcome aboard.



Aug 03, 2015 08:35 AM
Olympus Executive Realty Inc.
Olympus Executive Realty INC. - Orlando, FL
Home Of The Top Producers

Welcome to AR, Congrats on your first blog, look forward to all your future blog post. Its a great place to share your Real Estate thoughts and experiences. 

Aug 03, 2015 12:30 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Kevin - These are very valuable tips for first time homebuyers' mistakes.

Aug 03, 2015 12:54 PM
Rosemarie Heindel
Harry Norman Realtors - Big Canoe, GA
Rosemarie Heindel

Very good points here. Thanks for putting them all together in one blog post for new home buyers. I am sure this will be helpful to many.

Aug 03, 2015 01:50 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Wise advice Kevin!

Welcome to Active Rain, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Aug 03, 2015 04:31 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Kevin Boudreaux nice list of commonly made errors ....and the greatest one is not hiring the right Realtor.... and this is certainly not a task to venture forth without one....

Aug 03, 2015 08:08 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

and welcome to ActiveRain, Kevin....glad to see that you're a Rainmaker.... get your share of Google juice.... you'll enjoy participating on this platform....blog away....

Aug 03, 2015 08:09 PM
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

Kevin, welcome to the RAIN.  Hope you make yourself comfortable, get to know folks and stay awhile.


Failure to be prepared is like driving off into an unknown and unpopulated areas in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend.  You are going to get list, be stranded and not know where to turn.


Every homebuyers should at least consult with experienced real estate professionals: a REALTOR® and a Mortgage Loan Officer.  Both will prove vital to one's success.  "Don't buy a home without them."


 A first home should be move in ready, limited to light repairs and paint.  Their budget should include funds for repairs, and mistakes!  I would suggest turning to a friend or family member with much experience in remodeling before tackling bathrooms, kitchens, wall removal, electrical and plumbing tasks.

Aug 03, 2015 10:36 PM
Kevin Johnson
CENTURY 21 OneBlue - Orlando, FL
Orlando's Premier CENTURY 21 Office!

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone, it is greatly appreciated. I'd like to invite everyone over my main blog on my website where I also share advice for buyers and sellers, market updates, and home improvement tips. My goal is to post original content here and on my website so they don't overlap. :-)

Aug 03, 2015 11:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Best wishes for great success with your ActiveRain blogs.

Follow the bloggers you enjoy and 'like' the blogs as you read them. Always leave comments for the best networking results. Try to re-blog at least one post each day.

Aug 04, 2015 12:46 AM
Kevin Johnson

Good morning Roy! Thank you so much for the kind words of wisdom. I'm really looking forward to utilizing the platform to share ideas and learn from my peers!

Apr 27, 2016 10:54 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Kevin - These are definitely mistakes though not just of first time buyers.

Aug 08, 2015 04:49 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Kevin - Welcome to the ActiveRain community, and congratulations on your first post here.

Aug 08, 2015 04:49 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I agree. No matter what, contact a local real estate professional for expert advice on what work needs to be done and how to make it as appealing as possible to future buyers. Every home is different, so a conversation with your agent is mission-critical to make sure you make the right moves when selling this season.

Sep 14, 2022 10:04 PM