Obviously buying a home is a very exciting time and can be a lot of fun. Looking for your dream home can also be a nightmare if you allow your emotions to rule the day. Remember, you have to make that house payment every month for many years to come and if you’re not careful you could bite off more than you can chew. Here are the 7 most common mistakes that house hunters make.
Offering More than the Home is Worth
I’ve seen this happen more than once and it’s very easy to understand. After months of searching a couple finally finds the home of their dreams. They’re so excited and worried that it will slip through their hands that they make an offer that is more than what the home is actually worth. Buying a new home should not start with owing the bank more money than the value of the home. My advice to these folks is to slow down, take a breath and make a reasonable offer.
“Settling” for a Home that is not what You Really Want
I often compare house hunting to searching cable TV for something good to watch. Sometimes a great movie is coming on in 10 minutes; other times you can’t find anything you want to watch. If you’re finding that your search is taking longer than you expected don’t give up. The home you want is out there and making an offer on a home that is not what you really want is a big mistake that you will have to live with for a long time. When you find the right home you will know it and the wait will have been worth every second!
Haste Makes Waste
OK, you’ve found the house of your dreams and you want to make an offer immediately, but did you do your homework? Before you make an offer make sure that you investigate the area thoroughly. Does a train pass close by at 3 am every morning? Is the neighborhood safe? Does your street tend to flood in heavy rain? There’s much more to consider when buying a home that just the home itself and a hasty offer just might be a mistake. Remember the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”.
Love is Blind
The infatuation of finding that new home can cause one to miss the obvious. Make sure to check the important things in the home before plunging in. New paint and shiny wood floors can hide a lot so take the time to make sure that the essentials are there such as all of the electrical outlets are working and there are no plumbing leaks and so on. Don’t let the glitter blind you to the obvious. I remember a buyer years ago that just couldn’t wait to buy that special house. Now they finally had a garage to put their boat in. Too bad it didn’t fit.
Don’t Forget How to Count
No matter how much you love that house on the hill if you can’t afford it, don’t try. Keep your expectations realistic and STAY WITHIN BUDGET. Upgrading to a home that will cause financial hardship is not part of the American dream and when the excitement wears off you will find yourself wishing that you had not overextended yourself. There’s nothing worse than finally getting what you want only to lose it. Yet another old saying comes to mind; “T'is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. When it comes to your home this is definitely not the case.
Don’t Let a “Fixer Upper” Become a “Fixer Downer”
Its fine if you’ve made the decision to buy a home that needs some work but you must be realistic. Are you positive that you have the money, time AND ability to do the job right? If you have no experience at this type of work or work a demanding schedule you just might find that getting it done is a bit more than you can handle. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories when it comes to this situation so if you’re not 100% confident that you have the ability (and patience) to fix up your home the way that you envision it you might want to consider a residence that’s move-in ready.
The Tortoise Does Not Always Win the Race
I had mentioned earlier not to rush into making an offer before due diligence. The same can be said of procrastinating. If you really love the home and you have done your homework than it is time to make an offer! Just be sure to make an offer that’s fair to both you and the seller and you’re on your way!
If you can avoid these all too common pitfalls you will soon find yourself in a home that the entire family loves and you’ll know that you made the right decision. Just remember to keep your emotions in check and approach your home search as if it were any other business transaction – be rational and calm.