Whether you are a first-timer, downsizing, upgrading or purchasing vacation property, the risk of home buying mistakes will always be there.
I wanted to save you the headache of falling into regretful decisions, and help you become proactive in buying a home.
Here are the Top 10 Home Buying Mistakes that you do NOT want to make:
DON’T fall in love with the glitz and glamour.
It’s very easy to get sucked in by the homes aesthetic features and staging. You can pay a premium for a home that shows extremely well… when in reality you, yourself, can make any home look the way you want it to.
Perhaps when you see these nice, done up homes, you can just take mental pictures (or actual pictures) for decorating purposes when you find a fairly priced home that suites all of your needs.
Take a look HERE to see the power of staging and how it can trick your mind into wanting to pay more for a home.
ALWAYS get a home inspection.
The cleaner your offer, the better it looks to sellers. So you may think to opt out on the inspection.
With that being said, if you are serious about a property, you should ALWAYS get a home inspection done BEFORE placing an offer on the house. This will allow you to keep the inspection condition out of the offer, but it gives you piece of mind going into the home of your dreams.
DO RESEARCH! Don’t be ambushed by closing costs.
There are a few hidden fees associated with buying a home. Make sure you do all your research and find a good lawyer that will tell you everything upfront.
Land transfer taxes, property survey fees, mortgage breaking fees, and lawyer fees are just some of the costs associated with buying or selling a home.
Get a list of what your costs could be, here.
ALWAYS ASK about utility costs before putting in an offer.
You can literally ask anything you want. What you should ask the selling agent or the home buyers, themselves, is what the rough carrying costs of the home are.
Water, heat, electricity are the must-knows. Also ask how much it costs per year to upkeep the gardens, oil the granite counter tops, or any other annual up keeping. The more you know, the better.
BE PREPARED to make a fair offer.
Always have your agent pull comparatives of the houses that sold in the neighbourhood within the last 3 months. This will give you an idea of if the house is priced fairly, and what a fair price would be to pay, even if you have to pay more for it.
Currently, this market is tricky. You will almost always pay MORE than list price, but you have to be careful as to not pay too much for something as well. Help from your agent will give you a better idea of how to proceed when you find the home you want.
SCOPE OUT the neighbourhood and community.
Google Maps is today’s BIGGEST advantage when searching for your home.
Once your agent sends you an address, just plug it in to Google Maps to see the surrounding areas, other street names, rough sizes of houses, close parks and recreation facilities, schools, churches, and so much more.
You will already have a great idea of the area just by viewing it online. Don’t forget Street view!
GET PRE-APPROVED before looking at homes.
You always want to be pre-approved by your lender BEFORE looking at houses.
Why? You want to know what you have to work with and can afford realistically before falling in love with that million dollar home.
MAKE a realistic budget.
Just because you got pre-approved for a $600,000 home, doesn’t mean that you should buy a home that expensive.
You have to take in to consideration ALL of your monthly expenses to make sure you can afford the mortgage payment and utility costs on your home.
Take a look at this How-To-Create-A-Monthly-Budget Worksheet to get a good start on the smart way of buying a home within your means.
CREATE a must-have list.
This can be the most fun part of buying a home. Listing exactly what you want!
Keep in mind that you can add whatever you want to a house aesthetically, so your list should be things that you cant change such as; the yard size, a cul-de-sac, the neighbourhood, close to amenities, etc.
Things like a fireplace, hardwood floors, bay window, second floor, etc., can be added to any home.
Check out this ‘wish list’ to get started!
DON’T RUSH into a house.
You don’t want to rush into your home with a tight closing date and not be prepared for things you need to save for, like furniture!
If you have accommodations, it’s best to get the longest closing date possible. This way you can save for furniture needed to fill the home, or money needed for the new furnace, or new appliances for the kitchen.
More time also gives you the opportunity to take your time and design each room of your house to your liking, or measure the exterior of your home in preparation for the landscaping you want.
Purchasing is an exciting time and we can be misguided or rushed in to decisions.
Take your time and go over these home buying mistakes so you don’t make regretful decisions.
ALWAYS ask questions, that is what your agent is there for!