Buying Your First Home? Don’t Make These Mistakes

Buying your first home is exciting and empowering, but if you make one of these beginner mistakes, you may not get the most out of your hefty investment.

You Didn’t Set a Budget

Determine your budget before you go house shopping. It would be a shame to fall in love with your dream home only to realize you can’t afford it—and it would be an actual nightmare to get pressured into buying a house with a monthly payment you struggle to meet. It is wise to set your budget and get pre-approved for mortgage before you start seriously looking for a new home. Once you’ve determined your budget, you can shop with confidence.

You Didn’t Consider Hidden Costs

Buying a house can be expensive, and it’s easy to focus on the big numbers like the down payment and overall cost, but don’t forget smaller items. Be sure to factor the following things into your budget:

  • Property taxes
  • Home insurance
  • Mortgage insurance (when applicable)
  • HOA fees
  • Closing costs
  • Repair costs
  • Utility bills
  • Regular maintenance
  • Landscaping

Make sure you consider all the costs associated with buying a house so nothing catches you off guard or unprepared.

You Let Your Emotions Guide Your Decision

Buying a home can be an emotional decision. You are planning on spending your life there and raising a family in that home, so it is easy to get sentimental. But don’t let your emotions blind you. Common emotional mistakes homebuyers make include:

  • Showing the seller how excited you are and losing the upper hand in negotiations.
  • Letting emotions distract you from substantial repair work that needs to be done.
  • Letting your excitement about a home push you out of your price range.

Trust your gut if you are uncomfortable about a home or neighborhood, but use your head when you are making any permanent decisions.

You Didn’t Hire the Right Agent

Hire someone with your best interests in mind. Remember that the listing agent has an agenda, and they may not always help you find the best deal. Get a buyer’s agent who will truly be on your side and make sure that all the other professionals you work with are either neutral, or in your corner. Whether someone is doing an inspection or helping you with your loan, they should keep your priorities and needs in mind. If you feel like a mortgage broker is pushing you into a loan you can’t afford, or an inspector is glazing over your concerns, don’t be afraid to go find someone else.

You Forgot about the Future

When you buy a house, make sure you keep the future in your sights. Are you planning on having kids or adopting a pet? Is the developer planning on expanding the neighborhood? What are your long-term career plans? Will the home have a good resale value? Keep all these questions in mind as you buy a home and make sure it suits your present and future needs.

Look out for these common first-time home-buyer mistakes so you can purchase your first home with confidence and be satisfied with your decision for years to come.

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