Buying your first home is a complicated process, one that has plenty of potential to go terribly wrong. Here are a few common mistakes that first-time home buyers make, and how to avoid them.
1. Going Over Your Budget (Or Not Setting One)
House hunting is an activity filled with temptation, one that can easily get you in over your head before you’ve even made up your mind. The trick to avoiding this kind of temptation, and the many problems that can happen as a result, is to set a budget before you head out to look at homes. By setting a budget first, you can avoid seeing homes out of your price range that you may love, and try to buy to disastrous results. But with a budget firmly in place, you can see what’s available at your range, and find a more suitable home that won’t leave you in dire straits.
2. Planning for Now (Instead of the Future)
This mistake is often the opposite to going over-budget, and can be equally disastrous in the long run. When you’re going shopping for homes, be sure to think about the long run. Are you going to have children? Are you planning on switching careers soon? These and many other questions are key when looking for a home. That beautiful downtown loft may be exactly what you want right now, but if you end up having two kids, where are they going to stay? Think about where you want to be in five and ten years, and buy a home that can help you achieve those goals.
3. Ignoring the Neighbourhood
Location, location, location. At this point, the expression is a cliche, but one that still holds a grave warning: where you buy is extremely important. Be sure to look around a neighbourhood and area before buying a home. Doing so will not only help you get a feel for pricing, but also what the area has to offer. Be sure to look for schools and services in the area, and think about commute times to where most of the jobs are in the city.
4. Going it Alone
Buying a home, as any homeowner can tell you, is a complicated business, one that requires the expertise of a number of people. If you’re about to make your first home purchase, be sure to enlist professionals, including a good real estate agent. By getting the right people on your team, you could find more listings, see better pricing, and buy a home that’s a much more sound purchase than if you try and do everything yourself.
When you’re looking for a new home, especially if it’s your first home, it’s important to make sound and rational decisions. Make sure to set your expectations and budget at reasonable levels, and work to find a home that fits your lifestyle now and into the future.