Your first home represents an immensely important investment. In fact, it may very well be the most expensive investment you ever make. That being the case, it’s in your best interest to approach this purchase carefully and avoid making decisions based on impulse. Since the last thing you want to feel in response to a home purchase is regret, make sure to be as thorough as possible when doing your homework. Furthermore, in the interest of saving yourself a great deal of time, money, and hassles, take care to avoid the following mistakes.
Failing to Research the Location
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many realtors emphasize location over the condition of homes. After all, if your dream home is located in an area that’s far removed from centers of commerce, lacks good schools, or has skyrocketing crime rates, you’re unlikely to enjoy living in it. So, before proceeding to make an offer on any home, do some research into its location. While conducting your research, look into local property values, determine how the move would affect your daily commute, and read up on the area’s crime rates. Taking the time to do your homework will help ensure that you’re able to make an informed purchasing decision and help combat buyer’s remorse. For example, homebuyers exploring their options in Tampa, FL can benefit from researching the area in advance.
Purchasing a Home Sight Unseen
Under no circumstances should you purchase a home sight unseen. More often than not, people who do this are relocating from places that are a considerable distance from where they’re moving and simply lack the bandwidth to travel back and forth. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with exploring your options from a different city, state, or country, going through with a home purchase without actually seeing the property in person is an extremely risky venture.
As many seasoned homebuyers can attest, there’s a huge difference between seeing images of home and seeing the home itself. Furthermore, it’s very easy to hide certain problems in photos – and unsurprisingly, a lot of sellers tend to actively downplay or outright conceal problems.
If seeing a home in person prior to moving in is simply not an option, you’ll need to be extraordinarily careful throughout the purchasing process. In addition to going on detailed virtual tours of the home, you should ask a friend, family member, or trusted third party to personally explore the property. However, if you’re able to, it is strongly recommended that you explore the property on your own prior to purchasing.
Committing to a Loan You Can’t Afford
Without a good mortgage loan, most Americans would be unable to become homeowners. However, no matter how eager you are to become a homeowner, you should never commit to a loan you can’t comfortably afford. Not only can this bleed you dry financially, but it’s also liable to result in you losing the home you worked so hard to purchase. Keep in mind that you’ll also have property taxes, utilities, and homeowners insurance to consider.
With this in mind, make a point of carefully considering the long-term cost of every mortgage loan for which you’re approved. You may ultimately have to settle for a residence that doesn’t meet all the expectations you have of your dream home, but if this means a more manageable mortgage loan, so be it. After all, there’s little point in having your dream home if you’re too financially strained to enjoy it.
Not Having a Home Professionally Inspected
Any home you’re interested in purchasing should receive an inspection from a certified home inspector before any deals are finalized. No matter how well-maintained the property appears to be, you can never be too careful when it comes to home-buying. In addition, the inspector’s findings may serve to increase your bargaining power.
Your first home is a purchase that should only be made when you have all the proper facts at your disposal. Impulsively buying a home about which you know relatively little can prove both financially draining and perpetually stressful. You may think you’re simplifying the home buying process by failing to do your homework, but at the end of the day, you’re ultimately hurting yourself. To help ensure that your first home is a purchase upon which you can look back fondly, but the tips discussed above are to good use.