Although exciting, buying a home can be a daunting task as it is full of many complexities. It may be the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime, yet many home buyers are poorly prepared to ensure they make a good purchase decision. If you’re looking to buy a home, you can avoid common mistakes with a little research and planning. In order to help guide you through this process, we have compiled a list of 5 common mistakes made when buying a home:
1) Sticking to your budget- Shopping for houses gets people very excited! People think for a little bit more, they could get granite countertops, plus an office! You’re dealing with such large numbers when you’re browsing the housing market that it might not seem like such a huge deal to stretch another £10,000 or £15,000 to get the home you really love. Many people look at the top end of their affordable monthly payment, and don’t really take into consideration about what happens if their income goes down or they have to change jobs.
2) Not doing enough research. Many people assume that certain items come with the deal only to discover an appliance-free kitchen on the final walk-through. Not asking enough questions and getting everything in writing can be very costly as replacing something you thought was staying could cost hundreds.
Instead, go through your contract with a fine-toothed comb. If the item that you expected to be there isn’t, ask about it—and get it added in writing.
3) Letting emotions get in the way- Many people will walk into a potential home and think it is the wrong house because of the outdated wallpaper in the living room, or ripped carpet going up the stairs. Many people also fall in love with a house without realising that it is the wrong fit for their family. Buying a home is a very emotional process, but if you allow those emotions to get the best of you, you may end up buying a house that isn’t the right fit.
4) Not fully understanding and assessing your family’s needs. Just because you love a house, does not mean it’s the right house for your family. It’s important to find out about the quality of schools, crime level, transport, distance to shops, etc. If you have a dog, it’s important to make sure there is somewhere local to walk it, and many people overlook this when buying a home. Not all parts of every suburb are ideal spots to live in so it is very important to get to know the neighbourhood – remember you’re not just buying a house; you’re also buying a location.
5) Being Inflexible- Even when you have a long list of must-haves, there are probably several homes out there that can meet your needs. If there are snags with the home you’ve decided you like – such as major repair issues, an inflexible asking price or a difficult possession date – it might be best to move on. Being open to keep looking will save you from making decisions you might regret later.
Regardless of whether you are a first time or a veteran buyer, unexpected problems can and will pop up, and it is important to be prepared.