Buying your first home is an exciting time and it can be a bit overwhelming. There are six common first-time buyer mistakes you should avoid:
1. Buying what you want and not what you need. Avoid this mistake by starting out with a list of everything you need in a home. Give that list to your agent so he or she can find a property that meets your needs.
2. Picking the wrong agent. You may have a buddy or cousin who just got their real estate license, or you might be friends with a part-time agent. These are not the best people to help you find a home. Ask your family and friends for referrals, and go to online review sites to find an agent who will work best for you.
3. Not setting a realistic budget. Just because you’re pre-approved for $200,000 does not mean you should actually spend $200,000 on a home. I recommend looking at your current monthly expenses and figuring out a budget. Your monthly home payment should not exceed one third of your gross monthly income.
4. Falling in love with the first property you see. You should at least look at three properties in the same area to get a good idea of what properties are selling for in that location. Comparing price and condition of similar homes will help you know whether to buy that first property or not.
5. Not researching the neighborhood properly. You can’t always pick your neighbors, but you can pick your neighborhood. Be sure that you look at amenities, school systems, and more. School systems might not be important to you now, but it will matter when it comes time to sell that property again.
6. Overlooking the hidden costs of buying a home. Even though buying a home has some great financial benefits, like creating equity, there are hidden costs to watch out for. Things like property taxes and insurance can increase your monthly payments. Plus, you should also be prepared for unexpected repairs or maintenance you will have to do for the property.
If you avoid these six mistakes and work with a good real estate agent, your first-time home buying experience will be a success. If you have any questions for me, give me a call. I would be happy to help you!