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6 Common Mistakes FirstTime Homebuyers Make
6 Common Mistakes FirstTime Homebuyers Make
Ahhh yes - your very first home! I remember it like it was yesterday. And what an absolute crazy experience it was. Luckily, before I became a REALTOR, I had an advocate and partner all the way from start to finish guiding me through the battlefield known as the real estate transaction. If you're currently renting or thinking about purchasing your first home, we have been there and we will be that advocate and partner to assist you all the way. In the meantime, here are 6 big mistakes first time home buyers either are making or have made before they call us:
1) MISTAKE: Working with the seller's agent.
In Oklahoma, a REALTOR that has a home listed and represents the seller can also represent the buyer on the same transaction - to a point. While most of the time the listing REALTOR I'm sure is a great and decent person, they're advocating for whom they were working with first: the Sellers. Finding a buyer agent is really the way to get someone to fight for you in your corner. As a Graduate Realtor Institute, I received extensive training on assisting buyers - especially first time home buyers! Remember, when we work with you as your buyer agent, there is no out of pocket cost to you!
2) MISTAKE: Choosing the priciest home.
I see this all time - the bank says you're good for $225,000 and I hear "Dennis, set me up on your fancy website to send me homes to my email for homes priced at $225,000". Well let's stop and think about that - COULD a home for $195,000 have everything you NEED for your first home? You would have less of a down payment, less closing costs, potentially less taxes and insurance. Save some of that dough for your next home - or better yet if you were good with that higher payment, still pay that higher payment with the lower mortgage and you'll pay that home off faster!
3) MISTAKE: Not educating yourself.
It's a sellers market folks. Which means homes priced well and are in great condition are going to go quickly. That being said, there shouldn't be the pressure of buying the first home you see (unless it's the home of your dreams!). We can sit down with you and figure out the best areas based on your preferences and financial situation and determine if it's something we need to look at ASAP and start the escrow process or maybe we can hold off for a bit.
4) MISTAKE: Jumping in without organizing your finances.
Responsibility - get ready for it. We work with some great lenders and of course that is the first order of business in the process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Issues we see all the time - don't use your credit card to purchase that awesome living room set before it goes off sale, or take a loan out for that lavish vacation you think you deserve - that could very well jeopardize the transaction and you'll have many many angry people at you because the deal fell through.
5) MISTAKE: Not visiting the final house enough.
So you've found the perfect home! Congratulations! Now, did you see how much kitchen space was actually there? Did you notice the neighbor with 39 barking dogs next door or were you too in love with the granite island in the kitchen? Let's go back for an official 2nd visit (and bring the family) and make sure lots of eyeballs are on the home and the street. Even driving around at night will give you an idea of the neighborhood that maybe wasn't revealed during the day.
6) MISTAKE: Being indecisive.
This is just human nature - that something better is just around the corner. Well, that may not always be the case with something as large a home. I've been asked "Can we make an offer and still go look at other homes". NO!! Do not do this. If your offer is accepted, and you no longer want to purchase that home and move onto another home, too bad - you just bought that other home! And backing out could cost you thousands and severely jeopardize your ability to purchase again. With tools like online photos and Google Street View, you can take most of the guess work out and instead put all the time and energy into finding the homes you truly have interest in.