Buying your first home can be a very exciting accomplishment. But since buying a home is such a large financial investment and a huge responsibility, it is important to be prepared and make the right decisions. Mistakes made during the home buying process can have long-term repercussions that you won't want to deal with. Some of the common first-time home buyer mistakes to avoid include:
Not Having a Comprehensive Budget
Prior to shopping for a home, you need to make a comprehensive budget to determine exactly what you can afford. Many buyers make the mistake of just looking at what their monthly mortgage payment will be. How much you can afford involves much more than just the mortgage payment-- you also need to account for taxes, insurance, monthly utilities, and the cost of maintenance.
Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agent
As a first-time buyer, having a great real estate agent can make a huge difference in your buying experience. Don't make the mistake of blindly choosing an agent or neglecting to interview several real estate agents. You will be working closely with your real estate agent during the home search, as well as when you put in an offer, and through escrow. It is important to work with someone who is highly experienced and can guide you through the entire home buying process.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
In most cases, if you're buying your first home you're probably looking for a starter home. A starter home can have a number of great features, but you can't expect a home in your price range to have every single thing that you want. If you resist having unrealistic expectations about what your first home needs to have, you will have a much more enjoyable buying experience. One thing that is helpful to do is give your real estate agent a list of things that are must-haves, such as a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or a location in a specific school district.
Failure to Consider the Area
It is easy to fall in love with a house, but before you make an offer you need to consider the neighborhood and the surrounding area. If you have children, you may want to avoid moving to an area with a poor school district, no matter how much you like the house. You should also think about your daily commute-- if a home that you are interested is is located far from your work it may eventually become inconvenient to spend so much time on the road of a daily basis.