Buying a home is an exciting purchase! It is also one of the largest and most important decisions you will make. It's important to make sure you avoid the following pitfalls:
1. Not getting pre-approved. It's important to involve a lender early on and get pre-approved. This ensures that we are viewing homes that are within your budget. There's nothing worse than falling in love with a home, then finding out that the bank won't loan you the money for your purchase. It also helps to streamline the purchase process - your offer on a potential home will be much stronger if you are pre-approved.
2. Not working with a real estate agent. From showings and communication, to making an offer, removing subjects, then closing on a home, an experienced agent will be able to guide you through the purchase process and make sure your interests are well protected. Read reviews and ask around when finding an agent, you'll want someone in your corner working for you!
P.S. as a Buyer, you typically won't be paying a commission - it's usual for the Seller to pay the commissions.
3. Waiving the home inspection. It can seem like a large expense up front, and if the home looks good, what's the point? The point is that a home inspection is meant to help find issues that may not be obvious like mould (common in our area), structural issues, or leaks that could potentially cost you a lot of money. Think of the home inspection as an investment - if you proceed with the purchase, you're going in understanding the condition of the home and if you don't proceed with the purchase, you've saved yourself thousands of dollars in the long run.
4. Not researching the area. Falling in love with a home is great, but it's also important to love the area. Make sure you consider factors such as school districts, potential future development, undesirable neighbourhoods, and proximity to amenities. If you're unsure about the area, do a couple drive bys (especially in the evening) and explore the neighbourhood - you'll get to see what goes on and get a good feel for the area.
5. Not negotiating. You may not know that you can negotiate more than just the price of the home. You can also negotiate things like the closing date, terms and conditions in the contract, and repairs. An experienced realtor can guide you through negotiations and make sure you get the best value for the purchase price.
6. Not thinking about the resale value. Unless you plan to stay in the home long term (even then, life happens and plans change), most people move within 6-10 years so it's important to consider resale. Factors such as condition, location, size, and features can impact the home's resale value. If you're handy, you may even consider a fixer-upper, which is a great way to increase the resale value.
7. Not understanding the long-term costs. You bought the house, now what? In addition to your mortgage payment, you'll want to budget for property taxes, home insurance, utility payments, and maintenance, which can add up. Ask around to help prepare for these future costs.
The purchase process can be overwhelming and stressful, but with preparation and the right agent on your side, the process is exciting and enjoyable!
Searching for your dream home? I'd love to help make your dream a reality!