Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Your First Home
Six Common Mistakes Made by First Time Home Buyers
1. Postponing preparation. "Putting the cart before the horse" ~ Finding your Dream Home before getting pre-approved and hiring your Buyers Agent can cause you to miss out on the home of your dreams. Dream Homes often have a way of showing up before you think you are ready.
2. Not defining your goals early in the game. "Aimless wandering" through open houses is very different from sitting down and establishing a timeline, professional team, budget, and Dream Home criteria. See special worksheet: Establishing your Dream Home Criteria.
3. Postponing picking a Buyers Agent or getting pre-approved, because you don't feel ready, and don't want to waste anyone's time. Sitting with a Buyer Agent and experienced Lender early on can save EVERYONE time and money. Buyers benefit greatly from having professional guidance over time, improving credit scores when possible, learning the market and the buying process - all time well spent.
4. Going by national trends or Uncle Bob's advice when putting in an Offer. Often micro-local markets are different than what is in the national news. A Buyers Agent should do a thorough Comparative Market Analysis for your intended property, before any Offer is written. Each is case-specific, and the market conditions are always shifting locally.
5. Waiting to find the "Perfect House" ... No house will ever have 100% of what a buyer is looking for, and idealism can keep a would-be First Time Home Buyer renting forever! If a house has 85% of what you as a Buyer are looking for, (with no deal-breakers), that's a house worth seriously considering an Offer.
6. Not communicating truthfully with a Lender. This is a big no-no from the bank's point of view. Things that seem very simple (like where a down payment's funds come from) are very important to the bank, and they do have ways of discovering the truth. In order for your Lender to get you the loan you need and to Close on time, be sure to tell the truth!