THE 5 BIGGEST FIRST TIME HOME BUYER MISTAKES!! YIKES!
Before we even start with the list….a few important questions.
Have you considered renting?
Do you understand the market you are buying into?
Why are you buying? Because your parents or friends say you should?
Do you understand the responsibilities that go along with home ownership?
Do you understand what happens to your net worth if you purchase then the housing market drops?
Are you assuming that the value of the home you are purchasing will increase over time?
1. Understanding What You Can Offer for a Home and What You Can Afford
Going shopping for a first time home buyer is lots of fun. You get to cruise around, look at a bunch of different options and criticize the seller’s choice of wallpaper, etc.
However, if you are not pre-approved, there isn’t a lot of point to shopping. You are wasting your time and, if you have chosen to hire a realtor, their time as well.
Actually, if the realtor is a pro, they won’t even take you out unless you have a verified pre-approval including income/employment verification and a credit bureau pull.
(More on hiring a realtor in point 2)
A verified pre-approval lets you know a few things:
How much you can confidently offer for homes that you like?
Cuts through the clutter of all the online loan and home information.
Teaches you about different mortgage rates and product options that could save you thousands over the term of your mortgage.
That your application and offer will go successfully because all your financial details have been confirmed and your lender is ready to remove conditions once the house appraisal is deemed satisfactory.
Informs you as to whether your credit and financial situation are such that a mortgage is a good option.
Don’t let a good deal go bad because you haven’t done your financial due diligence up front. Go see a mortgage broker and get pre-approved. Click HERE to visit my website or call anytime at 250-212-7954
2. (NOT) Hiring a Realtor
So…? Do some research and find a trusted, professional real estate agent, talk to them about what you are looking for and let them find you a great property.
The best part? Real estate agents have codes of conduct and professional reputations to uphold. The ones I work with are ethical and hard working.
Realtors want to:
Find a first time home buyer a great home and close the deal smoothly.
Make sure they protect your best interests by placing appropriate conditions in each ‘offer to purchase’ contract so that your butt is protected.
Inform you of market conditions. They live and breath the real estate market, understand the trends and want your transaction to go really well…so they can sell you more houses in the future!
Know a lot more about the market and the legal aspects of a deal than your friends and family. Plus they have a compliance department at their brokerage that keeps your documents in order for 7 years after your transaction closes.
3. Falling in Love with a Property / Purchases Based on Emotion
Often, a first time home buyer walks into a property and falls in love because it ‘just feels right’. That is great as long as you consider a few things beyond this initial emotion because, let me tell you, the love affair may wear off very quickly if:
You find out that the neighbourhood is in decline and your property value is destined to fall.
You have purchased without properly considering your future plans. If you have purchased a one-bedroom dwelling but intend on having a family soon, a move will come with many costs…most importantly…a potentially massive mortgage prepayment penalty.
4. Skipping a Home Inspection
A property or home inspection you will get an opinion on the roof, electrical, foundation, windows, siding…everything that may lead to big expenses in the future. The last thing you need is to move in then a few months later be faced with a large repair bill.
A property inspection should be a condition contained within every real estate offer to purchase; with very few exceptions to this rule.
5. Assuming Your Property Will Appreciate in Value
I’ve heard people harp on and on about how real estate is an asset that always goes up in value. Tell that to the people who lost their homes in the 2008 recession or had their net worth severely effected.
Your home is only worth what the market will pay you TODAY. Working with professionals like a mortgage broker and a reputable real estate agent will help you make an excellent real estate purchase while keeping your best interests at the forefront.
Please contact me with any questions! 250-212-7954