Common Mistakes When Buying A House

What To Avoid Doing When Looking At Houses

You finally decided to get your own place, you got pre-approved and you’re on the market for that shiny new dream home! Exciting!

But, don’t let the excitement take over your judgement. It’s crucial to stay rational and logical when making such a big purchase. It’s easy to get lost in daydreaming and measuring if that couch you want will fit in your potential new living room instead of focusing on home inspections, researching about the neighbourhood, etc.

We believe that there isn’t such a thing as too much information – that’s why we compiled nine things most homebuyers say they wished they’d known when buying their first home. Let’s dig right in and check out the top mistakes first-time homebuyers make!

Falling In Love With Home Staging

You come to an open house and see everything perfectly laid out, the space seems airy and calm, the countertops are all shiny and roomy, and the whole arrangement of the furniture is on point. Beautiful!

Now take a moment and think about what’s missing. How much room would a coffee maker or a toaster take on that countertop? You know you’ll use those appliances daily and they will for sure be on that countertop. Also, won’t that statement chair get in the way to the patio every day? And where are all the doors?!

There is a huge difference between what a normal house looks like on a daily (clutter and all), and what a staged house looks like. To make the home more appealing and worthy of your cash, sellers often ask professional staging companies to come in and completely redecorate the place, sometimes even remove the doors to make it all seem more spacious.

Yes – there are situations when you shouldn’t even believe your own eyes! As a result – you fall in love with the perfect display and forget to ask about the foundation, plumbing, furnace, the roof’s condition, etc. Not paying attention to that can lead to extra costs!

Not Investigating The Neighborhood

Having a mortgage and making monthly payments for an area you hate kind of sounds like having a salad with a perfectly fine burger waiting for you.

Make sure you investigate the neighbourhood before you purchase – does it have everything you want? Is too quiet? Is it next to a railway? What about schools and playgrounds – do you need those? How far away is it from your favourite place in the city? What do the neighbours seem like? What are the crime statistics?

Make sure you do your research and fall in love with the whole package, not just the house’s layout.

Read More: Things You Need To Know Before Buying Your First House

Using All Savings As A Down Payment

Saving up for a down payment can be challenging, and it’s not surprising that a lot of families end up spending all their savings on a down payment for a house. But if you can avoid doing this, please do.

Being a homeowner is much more than weekend barbecuing in the backyard. Many homeowners can tell you about hidden costs buying a house has. Think about setting up the utilities, the closing costs, moving costs, insurance, new furniture… Want us to go on?

Home Inspections – Get Involved!

It’s your future house – you HAVE to know what’s going on! You should always include a condition of inspection in your offer. You will pay $300 to $800, but it’s well worth it because inspectors will let you know about maintenance issues before they become serious.

Also, you can ask your realtor to arrange a pre-sale home inspection. Sellers often pay for this inspection so that the buyer can submit a clean offer without any conditions attached!

Negotiation, negotiation, negotiation!

Everything can be negotiated, if you know how to do it. Good news – you don’t, your realtor can do that for you. Okay, negotiating the price in your favour might be a bit hard in today’s market, but there are other terms you can ‘fix’: closing costs, repairs to be done before closing day, the inclusion of appliances, etc.

Not Doing Enough Research

Be informed! As said, this is probably the biggest purchase of your life, so don’t let your money go to waste. Explore your options, decide what type of mortgage is the best for you, do your research on rates and always, always ask for comparables!

Get familiar with the whole home-buying process so you avoid unpleasant surprises like closing costs, mortgage insurance, etc. Talk to a home insurance broker and make sure your future house doesn’t come with hidden things that need fixing.

Not Getting Pre-approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage not only helps with keeping you less stressed but also lets you know how much money you can spend on your new house. Why risk losing in a bidding war when you can come out as a winner and end up with your dream house?

Forgetting to Ask About Utility Expenses

You should be aware of the utility expenses so you can have an estimate of your monthly expenses. Knowing how much money you will have to spend every month might also help you decide between buying the house in question. Be sure you know how much water, waste management, and other monthly and annual expenses will cost before you move in. If your family can’t function properly without a good internet connection – make sure you ask about that too!

You can ask real estate agents or current or former homeowners for estimates of utility bills.

Read More: Hidden Costs Of Buying A House

No Emergency Budget

Maintenance costs will happen. Emergencies will happen. The sooner you accept that, the better. And it’s always better to be prepared than to go into full panic mode the first time your furnace stops working. Also, you never know what can happen in the future and you should always try to have an emergency fund in case you won’t be able to pay the mortgage, taxes, and insurance.

Always aim to save up for a six-month worth of expenses, just as a backup. You never know when you’re going to need it.

The Takeaway

Buying a house is stressful, but a beautiful thing as well. Soon you’ll be in your own home, with your own backyard and your own interior decor taste! There’s no need to ruin this beautiful period by not being careful. Make sure you follow our tips and avoid making the most common mistakes when buying a house! If you need help finding your dream house, don’t hesitate to reach out!