Your first home is not a purchase that should be approached lightly. Since this may very well represent the most important investment you’ll ever make, it is essential that you approach the homebuying process with due seriousness. Since many first-time homebuyers lack sufficient real estate experience, they often wind up making decisions they come to regret – and when hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved, regret is the absolute last emotion you want to be experiencing. To help ensure that your first home-buying experience is free of regret, avoid making the following choices.
Failing to Research the Local Real Estate Market
Researching the local real estate – as well as the area to which you intend to move – is essential to making an informed home-buying decision. For starters, failing to research local home prices is liable to result in you paying an inflated sum for a home that’s priced well above what it’s worth. Secondly, it helps to get a feel for the neighborhood in which a home is located. For example, even if you find your dream home, it may be located in an area with high crime rates, a floundering local economy or bad schools.
So, before making an offer on a home, make sure you have all the facts at your disposal. If you’re not confident in your ability to conduct this research independently, enlist the aid of a seasoned real estate professional. Floridians interested in moving to the Tampa area would do well to research Tampa Bay real estate beforehand.
Not Subjecting Homes to Professional Inspections
It’s in every homebuyer’s best interest to have houses they’re interested in purchasing meticulously examined by a certified home inspector. A thorough inspection can reveal problems with the property that even the sellers had been completely unaware of – and the last thing you want is a house with pre-existing plumbing, electrical or structural damage. Furthermore, depending on what the inspector uncovers, you may find yourself imbued with enhanced bargaining power.
Unsurprisingly, some sellers are opposed to the idea of pre-purchase inspections, as they believe inspections stand to decrease their bargaining power. Furthermore, in some instances, sellers actively try to conceal problems of which they are well aware.
Some sellers will even back out of a deal if a home inspection is on the table – and because they don’t want to rock the boat, some buyers will acquiesce. Needless to say, this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Even if the seller isn’t trying to hide something, a clear aversion to inspections should always give you pause. In addition, inspections are often necessary for the purchase of homeowners insurance.
So, if a seller is vehemently opposed to an inspection, this should be taken as a bad sign. And if they threaten not to sell the property to you if you insist on having one, this should be taken as an even worse sign. In a situation like this, you’d do well to walk away. Should the seller find themselves unable to find another willing buyer, they’re likely to get back in touch and submit to an inspection.
Not Getting a Handle on Outstanding Debt
The less outstanding debt you have, the more mortgage loan options you’re likely to be eligible for. Should you decide to apply for a home loan while facing a mountain of debt, you may find that your options are extremely limited. Additionally, having a ton of debt may prevent you from putting a large down payment on a home – and the smaller the down payment, the higher your monthly mortgage payments are going to be. So, before proceeding to apply for mortgage loans, make sure to get a handle on any outstanding debt.
“Regret” is not a term that you want to be associated with your first home purchase. After all, there’s a chance that you’ll be spending decades – if not the rest of your life – in this home. Thus, it stands to reason that you’d want to be as satisfied with this purchase as possible. Unfortunately, many first-time homebuyers make an assortment of rookie mistakes that they inevitably come to regret. To help ensure that regret is the absolute last thing that comes to mind when reflecting on your first home purchase, steer clear of the choices discussed above.