Real Estate

4 Common House Shopping Errors and How to Avoid Them

It’s harder than ever to reach the American dream of homeownership, but if you’re ready for the challenge, the results are worth it. You’ll have your own home to do with as you please.

Buying a home for the first time isn’t easy. Sure, mortgage pre-approval for first-time homebuyers is helpful, but you have a lot of mistakes to dodge.

We’re here to help. Read on to learn all about a few common house shopping errors so you can avoid them.

1. Not Knowing What You Want

Buying a house is a huge decision. When you’re renting, you have the flexibility to get up and leave as soon as your lease is up (or before if you’re willing to lose money). When you buy, you’re in it for the long haul.

Make a list of “needs” and “wants” that you can keep with you while you’re looking at various options for houses.

“Needs” are going to be your non-negotiables. Do you need a large yard for your dog? Do you need a certain number of bedrooms for your family?

“Wants” are going to be things that aren’t necessary per se, but you’d be far more likely to buy the home if they were there. Do you love soaking in a deep bathtub? Do you dream of hardwood floors?

You should also have an idea of what neighborhood you’d like to live in. Look at local amenities, schools (if applicable), walkability scores, and safety scores to make sure that you know that you’re comfortable with the area.

2. Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agent

A bad real estate agent can be worse than trying to buy a home without one. Many real estate agents are only in it for the commission, and they have no interest in placing people in homes that they’ll actually love.

Ask friends and family members who have bought homes for real estate agent recommendations. Read reviews and consult with each agent before you commit to one.

3. Miscalculating Your Budget

When you’re looking for homes for sale, it’s easy to forget all of the costs associated with being a homebuyer and new homeowner. The asking price is your biggest cost, but it’s far from the only one. Make sure that your budget reflects that.

When you’re comparing house prices, you also want to consider the costs of renovations and repairs that the home may need. You should factor in hidden fees, realtor costs, and the cost of inspections.

When you’re making your budget, you should anticipate having to pay above the asking price.

4. Taking Too Long to Decide

It’s harder than ever to buy a house in a desirable area due to real estate investors and low inventory. When you find a home that you love, jump on it right away (and prepare to be involved in a bidding war).

Hesitating for even a day can be the difference between landing your dream home and returning to your search.

Avoid These Common House Shopping Errors

These common house shopping errors could stand in between you and your perfect new home. Keep them in mind when you start the house-hunting process. Good luck!

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