MSN Real Estate and SmartMoney.com compiled a list of the top 10 mistakes that first-time home buyers make, and it’s pretty spot on. My favorites include:
“1. Not knowing how much house you can afford.”
Talk to a lender before you start your home search and find out how much you can actually afford to spend on a house. Doing this ensures that you don’t waste time looking at homes that are out of your budget.
“2. Assuming foreclosures are great deals.”
I see a lot of first-time buyers looking at foreclosures because they tend to be cheaper than regular properties, but those homes are often left sitting unmaintained, which can cause problems. It is imperative to have an inspection done on a foreclosed home, but be aware that foreclosures are sold as-is. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on fixing problems identified in the inspection before you commit to the home.
“8. Skipping the inspection.”
Always have an inspection done before purchasing a home. Even if it looks like there are no problems, hidden issues that could have been identified through an inspection can create huge problems down the road. If the cost of an inspection seems high, the cost of a major repair will cost you a lot more. Your contract should be contingent on finance and inspection, so if there are any major problems that the sellers aren’t willing to fix, you’re free to walk.
Buying a home is a big deal, and it’s easy to get excited and overlook the costs and the realities of home ownership. As an agent, I keep my buyers (especially first-time buyers) in the loop during the entire home buying process and guide them along the way so that they don’t make these mistakes.