Failure to shop around. Chances are, you won’t buy the first property you see. Shopping for your mortgage shouldn’t be any different. If you don’t shop around for the right lender, you risk missing out on the best possible deal.
Moving too slowly. It is important not to jump into an important decision like purchasing a new home. However, you cannot afford to agonize forever over the decision, either. It is vital that your offer is made in a timely manner, or you risk losing the property to another bidder.
Failure to budget properly. Consider all expenses of buying a home, from inspection, to maintenance, to repairs, to renovations, to the all important property taxes you will soon owe. Consult both your agent and your accountant on what to be on the look out for as you are building your budget.
Being too picky. Finding the perfect home is part of the American dream. However, beware the temptation to get caught up in the search. You may pass up a wonderful home in your price range, one that could become your dream home, because you can’t see past what you want to what is available. And the longer you look, the longer you’ll be paying out rent money you could be investing in your mortgage.
Failure to consider the long view. Be sure to consider the resale value of your potential home. On average, a first time buyer keeps his or her first home for only four years. Also, keep an eye out for neighborhood information. New development projects (particularly roads or parks) can have a huge impact on the future value of your home.
Improper compromise. While some compromises are going to be inevitable, don’t allow yourself to budge from the things you hold as most important in your property search. If you can’t stand sharing walls with neighbors, perhaps that condo isn’t the best compromise. Likewise, if you’re planning a family, don’t get sucked into buying a two-bedroom house when you know you’ll need at least a four-bedroom home.
Failure to make an attractive offer. Make sure that any offer you make is made with thought to what will make it attractive to the seller. Look at it from their point of view.
Cutting Corners. Don’t try to save money by not using an agent or skipping out on the home inspection. You may save money in the short term, but chances are you’ll pay for it in the long run. Experts re called expert for a reason, and they are there to help you.
Failure to hire an agent. The real estate world is constantly changing. Even if you have purchased a home before, chances are some of the laws or regulations have changed. It is a real estate agent’s job to stay on top of every aspect of the process. Let them do their job. Let them help you.
Getting attached too soon. Beware falling in love with a property before it has been inspected. A beautiful façade could mask a money pit. In addition, if you let your attraction to the property show too strongly, you may lose the upper hand in negotiations and end up paying far more than the property is worth.