Avoid These Mistakes When Buying Your Home

You can make the same mistakes at any stage of the home buying process, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have already bought a house before. Your agent can help you identify these pitfalls ahead of time to make adjustments. An incorrect purchase can lead to higher costs, stress, and even contract termination.

Whether you’re buying a holiday home abroad or preparing for your first-ever home, we can help you avoid costly mistakes. Make sure not to make these 7 mistakes when buying your home.

Not All Home Prices Are Negotiable
In many countries, most properties are already fixed at the asking price. Some homeowners are willing to negotiate and work a price with buyers in the US. However, sellers have different selling strategies, and not everyone is ready to push down their prices.

Buyers are expected to make offers only if they’re prepared to pay the asking price or above. Some sellers may accept an offer above or below the asking price, but it’s always best to consult the real estate agent handling the sale.

If your agent tells you that a home is negotiable, it means the seller is willing to negotiate on price. However, there is no guarantee that the seller will lower their price. This means that there is a chance you could find yourself buying a home you can’t afford. Most sellers know that buyers are most likely to negotiate on the property’s value, not the price.

Looking For A Home Before Applying For A Mortgage
Some homebuyers make the mistake of looking for a home before applying for a mortgage. This only increases their chances of losing the home they’re interested in. Looking for a home before knowing if you can afford it is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

The lender will always want to know your monthly income and expenses. Before applying for a mortgage, buyers should first get pre-approved for a loan. The pre-approval process will give you an idea of how much you can borrow. You can then plan a budget for the home you want to purchase.

You should also consider the additional costs of owning a home. Homeowners are responsible for paying property taxes and utility bills. You won’t have to worry about property taxes if you’re buying a holiday home. However, utility bills will still be part of your monthly expenses.

Not Knowing Your Credit Score
Credit plays a vital role in buying a home. Your credit score will affect how much a lender is willing to lend you. The lower your credit score, the higher your monthly payments will be.

While your credit history is essential, it’s also important to have a good credit score. The better your credit score, the easier it will be to get approved for a mortgage. Even if you have low credit scores, you can still qualify for a mortgage. However, lenders may charge higher interest rates.

Getting a mortgage with a credit score in the low 600s isn’t impossible, but it may require you have a reasonable down payment. If your score is low, it’s ideal to start improving it before applying for a mortgage.

You can check your credit score for free by requesting a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. If the three major credit bureaus have an error on your report, you should dispute it. Your lender may also want to check your credit history.

Not Checking The Property Condition
It’s essential to check the home’s condition before you sign any paperwork. All homes come with a warranty, but only a few homeowners extend those warranties. While virtual staging is an excellent way to see if the house fits your tastes, you still need to check the home’s condition for yourself.

Before buying the property, make sure you’re familiar with its condition. Make sure that all the electrical and mechanical parts are working correctly. Look for signs of leaks, water damage, cracks, and other structural issues. You should also inspect the roof and floors for any signs of wear.

If the home you’re looking at has an existing problem, ask the agent if existing plans to fix it. It’s better to know ahead of time so you can make adjustments to your budget.

Not Putting As Big A Downpayment As Possible
A larger down payment shows the lender you’re committed to owning a home. It also shows you’re financially stable enough to handle monthly mortgage payments.

The lender will base your loan-to-value ratio on the size of the down payment you’re prepared to pay. The higher the down payment, the lower the mortgage rate will be.

Many buyers make the mistake of saving their money for a down payment. They end up spending more on monthly payments. Instead of putting all the money you’ll save every month, it’s better to put at least 20% of the value of the home you’re buying as a down payment.

Not Hiring A Home Inspector
Home inspectors are impartial third parties who inspect the property you’re buying. They identify and point out issues that need to be fixed. They also evaluate if the condition of the home is livable.

Home inspectors look at different aspects of the property. They check the condition of the home’s structure and appliances. They also check the roof, plumbing, electrical system, and foundation. An inspector can also check for any safety issues, such as broken locks and faulty windows.

Buyers should hire an inspector to check the home’s condition before they sign any paperwork. An inspector can also offer advice on making the property more energy-efficient.

Not Checking The Utilities
Make sure the utilities are working properly before you close the deal. You can hire a professional to conduct the inspection, but you should also check everything yourself.

Utilities like water and electricity aren’t included in the property price. When you own a home, you’re responsible for paying for those utilities. It’s important to check if the seller is paying for those utilities.

Some homeowners include the cost of utilities in their asking price. If the home you’re looking at has utilities included in the purchase price, you shouldn’t worry. However, it’s important to double-check if the utilities are included in the asking price.

The Bottom Line
Be careful when buying a property. You don’t want to get stuck with a home that doesn’t meet your needs. A home with multiple issues will also lower its value. Buying a home is a big investment. Once you have a home, you have the responsibility of maintaining it.

Buying a home is a significant decision. It can affect you financially for your entire life. You must do your homework and prepare for the buying process. Don’t rush into buying a house before you fully understand the process.

By Kat Sarmiento
Content Writer

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