Homebuyer Beware: The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing a Property

Monday Oct 23rd, 2023


So, you've decided it's time to dive into the exciting world of home buying. But before you start picturing yourself in that dream home, let's chat about some common missteps that buyers often make. Trust me; you'll want to avoid these pitfalls to make your home buying journey smoother.

1. Going Solo Without an Agent

Sure, the internet is a treasure trove of information, but here's the issue– it doesn't tell you crucial details, including information about specific streets or a neighborhood. You might miss vital information, like which part of Avenue Road floods every spring, or if your potential neighbor has a shady past. Or you may have no idea of the neighborhood's appreciation rate or safety level.

That's where a realtor comes into play. They should be able to fill you in on all of the details that online listings won't tell you. So, don't go it alone – bring a realtor on board to guide you through the homebuying process.

2. Skipping the Pre Approval Step

Would you shop for a car when you have no idea how much you can spend? Well, the same goes for house hunting. Don't rely solely on online calculators to determine your budget. Those calculators don't know about the student loans, alimony, or car financing that are important aspects of your financial history.

Online calculators only look at your income and the property's price. That's it. So, don't trust them blindly. Instead, reach out to a mortgage specialist for a preapproval. Contrary to what many people think, getting preapproved won't damage your credit score, so speak with a knowledgeable mortgage provider so you can get an accurate picture of what you can afford.

3. Neglecting Neighborhood Research

It may be easy to find a lovely-looking house online. But before you jump in, you need to do some homework on the neighborhood. Your realtor can provide valuable insights beyond what you'll find on the MLS listing.

You'll want to know things like the neighborhood's age, appreciation rate, crime stats, proximity to public transit, highways, hospitals, schools, and parks. Oh, and did you ever think about whether your dream home is under the flight path of airplanes? It's all about those little details that could affect your daily life.

4. Skipping the Inspection

I understand most people are trying to save money where they can, so it may be tempting to save a few hundred dollars by skipping a home inspection. But trust me, it's a gamble you don't want to take. What you save upfront could cost you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

Why? Because not all issues are visible to the naked eye. For instance, do you know what Kitec plumbing is? What about aluminum wiring? Do you know how to look for asbestos or hidden mold in the attic? Plus, how can you spot foundation cracks if the basement's all finished? A home inspection is money well spent.

5. Ignoring Lifestyle Compatibility

It’s important to match your neighborhood to your lifestyle and needs. This is why working with a real estate agent is so important - they should be sending you socio-economic reports so you have a better picture of how the property fits into your lifestyle.

Are you a family with young kids? You'll want a neighborhood filled with other families for playdates and a sense of community. If you're downsizing and craving peace and quiet, you won't be thrilled in a kid-filled area. You want to be where your age group and culture thrive.

Plus, safety matters. Check out the crime rate in the area. And if you have kids, consider schools – not just any schools, but ones that align with your values and priorities.

Remember, a realtor is your best ally, a preapproval is your budget's best friend, research is your secret weapon, an inspection is your safety net, and matching your lifestyle is your key to happiness. 

Matilda N. - Your realtor that truly cares!


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