When it comes to buying a house, it’s easy to find ways to fall in love with a property. But what about ways to avoid buying the wrong house altogether? Zillow recently reported that up to three-quarters of homebuyers in the last two years have had some regrets about the purchase of their new home. The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) wants your purchase to be regret-free, so we’ve put together 10 mistakes to avoid when buying a house. From these simple pieces of advice, you can learn the biggest home-buying mistakes to avoid when buying single-family home, townhouse, or condominium.
1) Don’t get caught up in the competition
There are a lot of potential homebuyers in the market right now, but inventory is low. Competition is high and bidding wars are still common at the start of 2022. Multiple buyers can often push the selling price of a house above its actual worth. For many homebuyers, today’s competitive market has driven swift and ultimately regrettable decisions. Don’t let the current market – or any real estate market – pressure distract you from making the right choice when it comes to buying a house.
2) Don’t move too fast
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new house, but swift decisions can lead to regrets. Know that you will find the right property for you, it just takes time. Don’t settle for an available property just because you’re in a hurry to make a purchase or get the process over with.
3) Don’t mix up your needs and your wants
If you need a shorter commute but you want your “dream kitchen”, in most cases it’s best to go with the shorter commute. Once the novelty of the dream kitchen wears off, you’re still stuck with that horrible commute. These are the kinds choices to get clarity on before buying a house. Before you even start looking at houses, make a list of your needs and wants. Use your needs to narrow your search, and you may be surprised at what you find.
4) Don’t keep going without a break
If you’re just not finding the right place, it might be time to take a break. Waiting even as little as one month will give you some time to rest and recuperate, and more importantly, it will give the market time to refresh. Don’t get discouraged! The market may be tough but there’s a home out there for you.
5) Don’t get distracted
Sellers often add exciting features to houses to distract and hook a buyer. Focus on layout, location and other things you cannot change about the house. Also, sometimes the homes that need a little love are the best deals. Just make sure you have a solid understanding of what different items cost to replace.
6) Don’t work without a buyer agent
Working with an exclusive buyer agent will help you to avoid buying the wrong house. Buyer agents are invested in helping only the buyer. They have your best interests in mind and will advocate for you. They will also know the best strategies for negotiating in today’s booming market and when the market cools off.
First-time homebuyers often want to make bids that are not in line with fair market value or include unreasonable terms and conditions. Such offers can make the seller less flexible when it comes to negotiating the final sale price. Exclusive buyer agents are experts in making the right offer on the right home. Find an Exclusive Buyer Agent here.
7) Don’t break your budget
Figure out your target monthly mortgage payment before you start looking at houses. It can be tempting to increase your monthly mortgage to get that special property you’ve had your eye on, but you should first examine your debt-to-income ratio — and this includes your mortgage. Exceeding your budget is definitely a mistake to avoid when buying a home. Be sure to stick to a predetermined budget and don’t get tempted to overspend.
8) Don’t get discouraged by the home inspection report
Every property will have its fair share of issues that come up in the inspection. The point is to have a good understanding of the property you’re buying. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity simply because an inspector finds some minor issues. Unless the home is a new build, the home inspection will almost certainly find some issues that will need to be addressed by the buyer or seller, depending on the agreement.
9) Don’t buy without doing research
Take a look at as many homes as possible before reaching a decision. This will help you to learn the market in your area before committing. It will also help to give you an idea of how many other buyers are actively searching the market, as well as what price homes are selling for. Narrowing down the cities and towns you are interested in will help you better understand the local real estate market.
10) Don’t be unwilling to compromise
Most successful buyers make at least one compromise to afford their home. Whether it’s buying a smaller home than you imagined, or not having your “dream kitchen,” you may have to sacrifice one element for cost. Understand that compromising in some way is typically part of the home-buying process. Being willing to compromise, along with these other tips, will help you avoid ending up with a home purchase you regret. Another great option for new homebuyers would be to consider a detached home.