Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

Buying a home can be a scary business. Even home owners who have gone through the process several times already find themselves getting worried and stressed out during the process.  It’s amazing how much can go wrong.  With so much at stake and so much money changing hands in a short period of time, any errors will be costly.



The following simple steps will help you avoid these common home buying mistakes.



1. Inspect that home! Nearly every loan process requires your potential new home to be inspected. Don’t avoid this inspection. The money you spend (around $400) will be well worth it, especially if you find costly problems with your purchase. Take the time to go over your inspection report carefully.  The inspector should be very willing to discuss with you all the potential issues and problems he or she found when inspecting your home.  That’s why you’re paying them!



Don’t be afraid to ask the inspector’s advice.  They’ve looked at hundreds of houses with a very critical eye.  They are much better able to tell you what is a problem now and what might become a problem in the future.



2. Try to see the property without the current owner’s belongings. Don’t be swayed by furnishings and decorations. Most of these will go with the old owners. How will the house look with your furnishings?  If you have a specific set of furniture that you know you want in a specific room, will that furniture fit?  Will you need to purchase a whole new set of furniture?  If so, make sure you include those expenses in your overall expense expectations before closing.



3. Don’t become strangled by your mortgage. Many of us will stretch to buy that house that is just a bit beyond our means. Avoid this! Keep looking for your perfect home that is within your price range. You will thank me for it.



4. Look at many homes! I’ve seen it a hundred times working as a realtor.  A couple will find the first home that somewhat matches what they are looking for, and they stop looking.  If they’d continued their home hunting, they could have found several different properties at least as desirable as the first, some of which cost less!


Avoid falling in love with the first property you find. Keep looking. Find several properties, and compare them to each other.



5. Work with a qualified real estate agent. By working with a realtor, you are ensured the combined professional knowledge of years of real estate experience. I know so much more now about the real estate market that I can help my clients in ways they aren’t even aware.



Your realtor can save you time, money, and problems by helping you avoid many common issues.  We want to help you during these stressful times to make a good decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.



6. Budget accordingly. Ask your real estate agent what the average monthly or yearly expenses are for the house you’re looking at.  That agent should know the average taxes for the area you’re in.



Not only will you be paying your new mortgage, but you will also be incurring additional expenses. A bigger house has bigger bills. Can you afford both the mortgage and all the bills?



7. Walk through the house before closing. Make sure that you didn’t miss anything major when you first saw the home. Has the house been damaged between the time you first saw it and closing? Perhaps the old owners left a bunch of old paint in the basement. Now’s the time to take care of it.  Remember, the sellers don’t get any of your money until you give it to them.  If anything is wrong with the property before you close, don’t close!



You’ll feel a lot of pressure from the real estate agents and the seller, but don’t be rushed.  It’s a lot more difficult to get the seller to fix something once you’re in the home.



8. Be flexible. Closing dates can be tricky, especially if you are building a home. Flexibility should be built into the schedule, just in case.  I once worked with a family in the Houston area that had their time table set so rigidly that when one small element didn’t work out, the entire closing process was derailed and had to be started entirely over.  Be flexible, but also work towards a specific date.  Know that different issues will come up.  Closings are rarely smooth.



9. Get everything in writing.  If the seller promises you something, get it in writing before the close.  If the builder promises you something, get it in writing.  If the real estate agent promises you something, get it in writing.  Most states do not have a verbal contract clause in their legal frameworks.  If you don’t get it in writing, you have no way to hold that person to their promises.



10. Hire movers. We’d like to think we can do it all ourselves, but moving in can be so draining! Movers can help free up some time to take care of the hundreds of little things that come up on move in day.  Besides, your time and health is much more valuable than the cost of the movers.  If you can at all afford it, the by all means, hire movers.



Good luck with this stressful time.  Once you’re in the home, you can relax and enjoy settling in.  But before that, be aware of the different issues that can come up.  The more prepared you are to handle these issues, the less likely they will derail your closing!


Aradio Zambrano is a leading Woodlands Texas Real Estate agent, providing current listings of Homes in the Woodlands.  If you’re looking for Woodlands new homes, contact Aradio at today!

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