If you’re a first time buyer preparing to purchase your perfect home, it will likely be one of the most significant investments of your lifetime. As such, it’s essential that every decision you make on the path to ownership is carefully considered and well informed. Simply put, knowledge is empowering. When you know what to expect, you’re better positioned to choose the steps you should take—and those you shouldn’t.
Here are five common first time buyer mistakes you should avoid during the home-buying process…
1) Forgoing mortgage pre-approval
It’s easy to get excited about finding your dream property. With that in mind, you should take some time to get set up for success before jumping in. One of the most critical early steps is obtaining mortgage pre-approval from a lender. Once you’ve secured it, you’ll have a much better idea of how much financing you can expect to receive. Just as importantly, having a pre-approval letter will send a message to sellers that you understand the purchase process—and you’re serious about making it to closing.
2) Starting without a vision
From square footage and architectural style to features and neighbourhood amenities, knowing what you want in a home is one of the keys to a successful purchase. While simply viewing properties is easy, having a set of criteria will allow you (and your agent) to do so in a way that serves your goals. Of course, it’s not just about creating a list. When you can truly imagine your future home, you’re far more likely to recognize it when it comes along—and avoid wasting time along the way.
3) Overlooking major issues
While you want to fall in love with a property, that feeling can come with some risk. All too often, buyers find themselves overlooking major flaws when they think they’ve found their dream home—which can be a costly mistake. To ensure you’re happy with your purchase for years to come, perform your due diligence. Pose follow-up questions about issues that arise during your viewing, consider having a professional inspection done, and remember that you may be able to negotiate to have repair costs covered.
4) Getting the timing wrong
When it comes to submitting an offer on a home, waiting too long can mean missing out. The same is true of prolonging negotiations. In a competitive market, buyers need to move fairly quickly. On the other hand, making a bid without full consideration is an equally bad idea—one that could lead to regret. The key to timing your purchase correctly is striking just the right balance. Fortunately, an agent with experience can help by assessing your needs, the market, and your unique circumstances.
5) Not working with the right agent
Finding and securing the ideal home requires advanced knowledge, carefully-cultivated skill, and an eye for detail. An agent who has all three can help you land the home of your dreams. Since you also want the process to be as seamless as possible, someone who’s a great match for you in terms of personality and communication style is ideal. To ensure you wind up working with the right person, take advantage of the interview process. A one-on-one discussion will give you the chance to ask questions, collect information, and assess your comfort level with any professional you’re considering.
As a first time buyer you’ll take many steps on the path to homeownership, and there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes along the way. Fortunately, with a bit of preparation and help from the right professional, your journey is bound to be smooth!
Getting ready to buy a home? Reach out to start the process, and we’ll take the first step together!