There’s no doubt about it, buying a home is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – decisions you will make in your lifetime, both on a financial and emotional level.
Between the stress that’s often involved and the copious amounts of information you’re suddenly taking in, it’s no wonder that your decision-making process can get muddled during the home-search process. Be aware of these five common mistakes people often make when buying a home so that you can learn to avoid them:
Working without a real estate professional. You might be tempted to save money and go it alone, especially with the lure of websites that make it seem very simple, but buying a home is not like booking a hotel room. A good real estate agent will help you find homes you didn’t know about, negotiate a better price, and handle a myriad of legalities and logistics to make sure the deal doesn’t fall through.
Getting hung up on a certain style or neighborhood. All home shoppers set out with an ideal home and location in mind, which is the right approach. But sometimes your dream doesn’t work with your budget or market availability, so be open minded and let your agent show you some other options. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Thinking about future resale value. Buying a home is very much about the here and now – getting your offer in fast and closing the deal. But in the frenetic pace of the hunt, don’t lose sight of evaluating the resale potential of the home you’re about to purchase. Remember, this is not just a home for you and your family, it’s an important long-term investment for your future. Make sure it’s a wise one.
Not jumping on a good find. Sometimes home shoppers pass on what turns out to be their best option simply because they saw it too early in the process. Don’t overlook a gem assuming you’re going to come across something better – if it checks all your boxes, go for it.
Getting hung up on cosmetics. Don’t let someone’s taste in design get in the way of your decision-making process. Learn to look beyond paint colors, cabinets, fixtures and other easily changeable style choices to what really matters about a home: space, structure and location.
A good rule of thumb when searching for a home? Stop, take a deep breath, and think. Or sleep on it when you can. Keeping a level head will help you avoid making a mistake you’ll regret later.