4 Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Should Avoid

Buying a house can be positively overwhelming. With an agent by your side to guide you through the process, you’ll make it through just fine — but you might want to avoid these mistakes.

1. Finding a home yourself

We know it’s easy to browse through Zillow to find homes for sale in your desired location. Allow a real estate agent to find homes for you. A good real estate agent could find you properties that aren’t yet on the market, tell you where the home is situated, and the price per square foot in the neighborhood.

2. Overspending

Before you even look at a single property, you need to know exactly how much you can afford. There are several online calculator tools you can use, but these tools are only estimates. Meet with a lender and get pre-approved for an amount you can afford.

3. Failing to account for closing costs, property taxes, HOA, and homeowner's insurance

When you rent a home, you generally only have one payment — rent — and then maybe renter's insurance. When you buy a place, your mortgage payment is only the beginning of an array of costs. Homeowner's association fees can be as high as a few hundred dollars per month, depending on where you live and the amenities and services offered. Homeowners insurance and property taxes vary based on your geographic location. Then on top of all of those costs, is your down payment.

4. Failing to protect yourself with a home inspection.

During your house hunt, you may find a house that looks great at first glance. Then, as you walk through a few of the rooms, you notice problems with the house — maybe the floors squeak or the kitchen island is off-centered. After walking through the house, you come to realize the house maybe in questionable shape. Home inspections provide you with protection. The inspector will be able to find problems that you can't. The seller may not tell you that there's mold or that the walls are poorly insulated.

Your dream home is within reach, dot your I’s and cross your T’s.

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