Everybody wants the purchase of their first home to be as seamless and as hassle-free as possible. As a first time home buyer, it can be difficult knowing what to prepare for and what mistakes to avoid if you’re not sure what to expect! Fear not; that’s where we can help! Apart from not getting up to speed with the basics of buying your first home, here are some of the other mistakes first time home buyers often make, as well as how to avoid them:
Forgetting The Golden Rule
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 is for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, be sure to thoroughly check out the neighbourhood to make sure it’s somewhere you can see yourself living and will be complementary with 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 much fun it will be when you decide to stay in – by then, it might be too late if you decide to disregard weighing up the pros and cons of the location in particular, before committing to anything.
Not Consulting an Expert
As a first time home buyer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or feel unsure of what you’re on the hunt for. Experts are there to guide you and thankfully, they know the business as well as what’s on offer far so that you don’t have to worry about trying 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 want to settle on the most expensive home in your price range first time round! With that said, making this mistake is one to avoid 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 not putting yourself under any unnecessary financial pressure.
Skipping Inspections and a Walkthrough Before Signing
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 future consequences associated with not insisting on the necessary inspections being done prior to purchasing their first home. These inspections are there to protect you as the buyer, so they are definitely worth the investment and should not be seen as a potential area to cut costs in. Without these inspections, you might not be aware of a major issue until it pops up and causes issues later on down the line, so save yourself the future hassle and expense and get all the required inspections done upfront.
Similarly, all first time buyers shouldn’t skip out on walking 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 pressure a seller might put you under. While negotiating and compromising are key components of any sale process, it’s always a mistake to think you need 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 potentially your deposit in severe cases, 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 a scary notion. 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 and here. With all these in mind, be sure to set yourself up for success and go into the exciting time of finding your first home feeling empowered and putting your best foot forward. We wish you the best of luck!