Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will likely ever make. For that reason, it should be taken very seriously. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a plan ahead of time it can be quite easy to make a big mistake that may impact your financial health for a long time to come. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when buying a residential property.
- Choosing the wrong real estate agent.
You wouldn’t choose just anyone to perform heart surgery, would you? And while searching for a home isn’t exactly on the same level, the idea remains the same: choose the right person for the job. The real estate agent that you choose will be the person to walk you through each step of the buying process and answer any questions you have. It’s really important to select someone who has real experience and understands the intricacies of not only real estate in general, but of the market in which you’re looking. His or her ability to negotiate could impact what you pay – by thousands of dollars.
- Spending beyond your means.
There’s a reason they tell brides not to try on wedding dresses outside of their budget – because everything else will likely pale by comparison. The same thing goes with looking for a house. Before you even begin the process of buying a home it’s imperative that you know what you’re able to afford. This includes not only your mortgage payments, but also your taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance expenses. It should take into account both one-time and recurring payments. By having a clear budget, you are better able to focus on the areas that you can afford and prevent you from purchasing more than you can afford.
- Going with what you want rather than what you need.
This leads us to the next mistake to avoid. Sure, a property may offer a number of luxurious amenities that you’ve only dreamed about. But it’s more important to step back and ask if they are really necessary. That’s why it can be really beneficial to establish two lists: 1) your non-negotiables (the things you cannot live without; and 2) the things that you’d like to have. Then when you are looking at properties you can always refer back to your lists.
- Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage first.
Once you’ve established your budget and know how much you are able to afford on your mortgage, it’s best to get in touch with your local banks to get pre-approved. This gives you peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be able to get a mortgage with the bank. It also demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer and puts you in a better position for being chosen for a home when compared to those who are not pre-approved.
- Passing on the contingencies/inspections.
You may think that it makes you look better to forgo the contingencies when buying a home and do without a home inspection. However, whether or not it’s required you should always have a home inspected prior to purchasing it. Looks can be deceiving and just because you don’t see any issues it doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. A professional home inspector knows just what to look for and can assure you that there are no issues.
- Not taking your time and looking around.
Lastly, the home-buying process can be extremely exciting. After all, you are purchasing the place in which you will spend a majority of your time, build your life, and create memories – or at least keep for 5 years to pull equity. It can be extremely tempting to throw an offer on the very first home you come by. Since you are making such a big commitment, it’s always in your best interest to shop around a bit before signing on the dotted lines.
Palumbo Law’s Team of Real Estate Attorneys Represent Buyers, Borrowers, Sellers, and Lenders in Rhode Island
At Palumbo Law, our real estate attorneys understand that buying a home can prove quite complex. Our team is committed to delivering quality service and can handle all aspects of your residential purchase. We prepare all the necessary legal documents, including loan documents, deeds, and other closing documents, assist with obtaining financing, represent clients at closing, record documents, and obtain final Title Insurance policies. By handling all the details, we minimize the stress so that our clients can focus on their daily routines. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!