PROPERTY NEWS - Everybody wants the purchase of their first home to be as seamless and as hassle-free as possible. Knowing what to prepare for and what mistakes to avoid can be difficult for first-time home buyers if they're not sure what to expec.
Fear not; we can help! Apart from not getting up to speed with the basics of buying your first home, there are a few other mistakes first-time home buyers often make.
This is how to avoid them:
When it comes to buying your first home, never forget that the location is of critical importance. Also remember that while you can renovate or "DIY" your way through many a problem area, you cannot change or fix your home's location, so make 100% sure you are happy or can at least live with things as they are for the foreseeable future.
With this in mind, thoroughly check out the neighbourhood to make sure you can see yourself living there and that it will complement your current lifestyle. For instance, it might at first sound like a fun idea to buy a home close to the night-time hotspots, but consider how little fun it will be when you decide to stay in.
Don't commit to anything before you have weighed up the pros and cons of the location.
Not consulting an expert
As a first-time home buyer, it's easy to become overwhelmed or feel unsure of what you're looking for. Consulting the experts is the way to go. They know the business as well as what's on offer, and can guide you so that you don't need to try to make sense of things. Don't be afraid to shop around when it comes to estate agents, bond originators, home loan providers, attorneys, etc. and be sure to work with someone who makes you feel heard and supported.
An added bonus is that often the seller or the institutions themselves pay for these expert services, so take advantage of them wherever possible - it definitely couldn't do any harm and might in fact prevent you from making a very expensive mistake due to naivety.
Trying to stretch your finances too far
It's always tempting to get carried away and wanting to settle on the most expensive home in your price range first time round. You should avoid making this mistake at all costs - because of the costs!
After drawing up your budget, make sure you are pre-approved for a home loan within your means. If possible, reserve a small portion of savings as a financial safety net for the road ahead. For example, if you spend all your budget on purchasing the most expensive home you can find, chances are you won't have a lot of spare cash to pay for any unexpected repairs or alterations you might need to make once you've moved in.
Remember that the aim is to avoid biting off more than you can chew and to not put yourself under unnecessary financial pressure.
Skipping inspections and a walk-through
We can never stress the importance of complying with all pre-purchase inspections enough. So many first-time buyers aren't aware of the often negative consequences of not doing the necessary inspections prior to purchasing. These inspections are there to protect the buyer, so they are definitely worth the investment and should not be seen as a potential area to cut costs.
Without these inspections, you might not be aware of a major issue until it's too late, so save yourself the hassle and expense by getting all the required inspections done in advance.
Similarly, all first-time buyers should walk through the home just before signing on the dotted line. Consider it an additional inspection and a confirmation that the home is in the same condition as it was when you viewed and decided to purchase it.
Sacrificing on the T's and C's
Even if you think you've found your dream home, never waive your rights as a buyer, no matter how much a seller might pressure you. While negotiating and compromising are key components of any sale process, it's always a mistake to overly compromise on your rights in order to boost your chances of the deal going through. Remember, if the deal goes south for whatever reason, you could end up losing both the home and, in severe cases, your deposit, so be careful when opting out of any terms and conditions.
Always consult a professional in this regard.
Rest assured, you're not alone if you think buying a home for the first time is scary. There are plenty of opportunities along the way for making mistakes, often with costly consequences. Without getting to know the ins and outs of the lengthy and potentially confusing journey ahead, you can easily make one, or many, of the common mistakes mentioned above.
Be sure to set yourself up for success and empower yourself before you start the exciting adventure of finding your first home.
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