Buying a house is a big investment. In fact, it's probably going to be your biggest investment. That's why you want to make sure you get the most for your money. To do that, you want to avoid making costly mistakes. If this will be your first venture into the housing market, you might not be aware of the pitfalls that can be involved in purchasing a home. To help keep you on track, here are four mistakes you should avoid now that you're in the market for a new house.
Not Being Specific About Your Needs
When you start looking for a home, your real estate agent is going to use the information you provide to help them narrow down the field for you. That can be difficult if you aren't specific about your needs. Before you talk to your real estate agent, sit down and make a list of all your housing needs – size, location, price, etc. When you finally do sit down with your agent, give them the list that you've created. They'll be able to narrow the search and help you find a home that will suit your needs.
Failing to Create a Realistic Budget
You might have worked out a budget so that you know how much of a house payment you can afford each month. However, you might not have added all the incidental costs associated with home ownership. Unfortunately, failing to add those additional costs into your budget could lead you to purchase a home that you can't really afford. Before you start shopping for a home, create a realistic budget, including costs such as insurance, home warranty services, maintenance costs, and HOA fees. Adding these costs into your budget will help you determine how much home you can comfortably afford.
Not Using Your Own Real Estate Agent
If you've found a home that you like, and you've decided to use the buyer's agent for the transaction, you might not be receiving the best representation. While the buyer's agent will facilitate the sale, they're not necessarily going to have your best interest in mind. To protect your interest, and make sure you get the best possible deal, you should consider using your own real estate agent.
Setting Unrealistic Goals for Your Agent
Speaking of your real estate agent, one of the worst things you can do is set unrealistic goals for them. They're going to work their hardest to get you into the home of your dreams, but they're not miracle workers. When working with your agent, be realistic in what you expect them to accomplish. For instance, they can't force a homeowner to take a lower bid from you. They also can't guarantee that you'll sail through the escrow process with ease. Be realistic, and let them help you get your dream home.