Purchasing a home for the first time can be overwhelming and confusing. This is why many first time homebuyers ask all their friends and family for advice and work closely with a realtor to find the home of their dreams that also fits their budget. Unfortunately, not all buyers wind up loving their property six months or six years after the mortgage papers are signed and are left with a house that doesn't feel like home. Don't get stuck with a home or mortgage you regret. Here are three common first time homebuyers mistakes you should avoid:
Falling Into the "3 Bedroom, 2 Bath" Trap
Like many first time homebuyers you might be searching for the elusive 3 bedroom, 2 bath home – even if you don't need this much space. Unfortunately, many other single people or families might be searching for 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes of their own. This much competition could lead to a bidding war, which could cause you to purchase a house you cannot afford.
In an effort to secure the illusive 3 bedroom, 2 bath home many buyers sacrifice other features, such as a finished basement or an amazing backyard.
Instead, broaden your horizons and search for a home that fits your other needs – including a large kitchen and an open concept main floor. Additionally, you may be sacrificing square footage by not considering a larger house. According to Zillow, 62 percent of first-time homebuyers surveyed wished they had purchased a home that was larger or featured a better layout.
Finally, you might also be limiting your search based on the neighborhood and school district. This can unfortunately cause you to spend more than you can afford, or you'll wind up waiting months or years for a home that fits your narrow must-have list.
Not Looking Beyond Information Provided Online
Instead of hitting the streets and visiting homes and mortgage providers in person, many first time homebuyers are relying on the convenience of the internet. However, before you skip the human touch provided by real estate and mortgage agents, realize there are benefits to doing things the old fashioned way.
Looking for lenders online in a great place to start. However, in addition to searching the web, visit your bank or local credit union – especially because this is your first experience. A representative sitting across a desk will be able to easily answer all your questions, quiet your fears and provide you with alternatives to traditional loans.
If you are also looking online for listings, don't rely too heavily on the limited information found on the web. Photos on a website and computer generated home values won't provide you with the subtle nuances that are found in most homes and neighborhoods.
Not Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
Finally, one of the most common and potentially devastating mistakes many first time homebuyers make is not hiring a real estate attorney. In addition to ensuring you can actually understand the purchase agreement, a real estate lawyer will also help combat all the problems that seem to arise during the home buying process.
If you're not convinced hiring a real estate attorney is worth the money, remember that ultimately, your lawyer has your best interests in mind and will work tirelessly to ensure you get a fair deal on the home of your dreams!
Purchasing your very first home can seem like a confusing, scary and exhilarating experience. However, with the help of an amazing mortgage lender, a great realtor and a seasoned real estate attorney, you will find a house that you will both afford and love.
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7 October 2015
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