Picture this; you have a perfect image in your head of the home you are going to buy. It’s the first time you are buying a house and from the look of things, everything is going perfectly; you have narrowed down your search to a favorable neighborhood and made the necessary arrangement to own the home. Then you start noticing flaws that you could have avoided if only you had taken time to do things the right way.
This is a common story amongst most first-time homeowners. To avoid falling into the same trap, here are temptations to avoid when searching for your starter home.
Not Hiring an Agent
Real estate agents are good at their job but they don’t come cheap. Instead of paying an agent, most first-time homeowners decide to go it alone. The thinking here is that by foregoing the services of an agent, you can save a few bucks. You embark on open houses, hunting from one listing to the other.
This is usually a bad decision that puts many people at crossroads on which home to buy or how to bargain on a deal. Having an agent means that the leg work is reduced considerably, because not only do they have access to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) but they can also spot an overpriced home from a mile away.
Falling in Love at First Sight
When it comes to real estate, love, at first sight, is one temptation that can cost you dearly. Getting the right home requires due diligence. You should take it upon yourself to have the property inspected and appraised before you make a final decision. As a good measure, it’s advisable to at least view 5 houses to see how they compare.
Being unduly hasty to acquire the very first home that tweaks your interest can make you overlook important appraisal details. Information such as the actual market value of a home, the age of the home, and its general condition could take time. Hurrying the process could mean waiving some of these key processes.
Relying on Your Family for Advice
The pride that comes with homeownership can cloud your judgment especially when it comes to getting advice. Family and friends can actually lead you into settling on the wrong home. This is because their advice is biased and will mostly reflect their own housing conditions.
As a first-time homeowner, you may not be too choosy or hang up on every small detail. This is not to say that you should skip the home inspection; however, there are some minute imperfections that you can deal with. Your family or friends may have an issue with such details and advise you against buying such a home.
What they don’t know is that you could have gone through several homes before you settled on that one they are trashing. It’s advisable to only heed the input of those members who have been with you through the entire process.
Waiting Too Long For the Market to Shift
The housing market fluctuates through buyers’ and sellers’ markets. The two shifts are a result of supply and demand. When the supply of desirable houses is low, prices shoot upwards favoring sellers; on the other hand, a surplus causes prices to tank, a situation that favors buyers. What’s the importance of this information for first-time buyers?
Here is why: A common piece of advice that you will get when looking to buy a house is that you should wait for the prices to come down. This is sound advice but how long is too long- how patient should you be?
It’s hard to give a clear answer to this. The best you can do is keep yourself updated on the housing market. Keep tabs on the Housing Market Index specific to your location. By watching these trends, you can (to a certain degree) know when prices are low enough for you to buy.
While buying a house, most first-time owners make mistakes by letting their emotions drive them. Temptations will make you approach a deal blindly; you go it alone or sideline your agent, settle on the first home that interests you, go with a family member’s advice, or waiting too long for prices to fall. These temptations can lead you into making the wrong buy.