Buying a home can be a complicated process, even for those who have gone through it before. Make the experience as painless: don’t sabotage yourself. Be prepared and avoid these common mistakes.
Not checking your credit report
Maybe you’ve been daydreaming about a new home, doing some online browsing, and mentally preparing yourself for the search. Before you even begin heading down the road to home ownership, you need to know what’s on your credit report. You should review your report a few months before you begin your search; this will allow you to make sure there is no incorrect information. At this time, address anything that could work against you when trying to secure a mortgage. Pay down as much debt as you can, and deal with any problems right away.
Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage
After checking your credit report, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you determine how much house you can afford so you can target homes in that range. Getting pre-approved also signals to a seller that you are serious and that any offers you might put in are serious, too. It’s important to note that in a competitive market, if you fail to get pre-approved, it could mean the difference between having your offer accepted or being the first offer crossed off the list.
Not preparing for added costs
When you are determining your budget and how much you can afford to pay per month, don’t forget to include all the added costs such as insurance, taxes, utilities, and fees. Those costs can add up and derail you, especially if you opt for a home at the top of your price range. You also need to remember to include closing costs and other fees you’ll be assessed during the closing process, as well as moving costs and costs for repairs once you move in.
Not being realistic
As you begin your search, you should definitely set aside time to create your wish list. Think about what you really need to have in a home and what would be nice to have. Don’t walk into the home-buying process thinking you are going to get everything on your list; that rarely happens. Instead, be clear about what you need to have versus what you would think of as icing on the cake. Be realistic; it will make the search for the right home quicker and easier for you and your agent.
Not finding the right agent
The Internet has made searching for available homes so much easier, and you may consider going it alone rather than hiring an agent to help you with your search. However, there’s much more to purchasing a home than simply deciding which one you want to buy. An experienced agent can help you navigate the process, which can be complex and stressful at times. Not only should you work with an agent, but you should find one you trust; it’s important to have an open and friendly relationship with your agent. Ask friends and relatives for referrals, and don’t be afraid to speak with several agents before settling on the one who’s right for you.
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