5 First-Time Buyer Mistakes to Avoid

by Camara Realty, LLC 09/24/2018

Buying your first home is undoubtedly a long and complex process for someone who has little to no experience in the subject. Your average first-time homeowner learns as they go, with the help of their real estate agent and mortgage lender.

But, even so, first-time buyers often make many mistakes along the way that they could have avoided with prior knowledge and preparation.

In today’s article, we’re going to cover 5 of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make when purchasing a home. From the first house you look at up until closing on your first home, we’ll cover common mistakes from each step of the way to give you the knowledge you need to make the best home buying decisions.

1. Shopping for homes preemptively

Once you decide that you’re interested in potentially buying a home in the near future, it’s tempting to hop online and start looking at listings. But, searching for your dream home at this stage is a poor use of your time.

It’s best to use this time to start thinking about the bigger picture. Have you secured financial aspects of owning a home, such as a down payment, a solid credit score, and two years of steady employment history?

You’ll also need to have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like for the next 5-7 years. Will you still want to live in the same area, or will your job lead you elsewhere?

These are all questions to ask yourself before you start house hunting that will inform your process along the way and make your hunt a lot easier.

2. Not knowing your budget

It’s a common mistake for first-time buyers to go into the house hunting process without a clearly mapped budget. You want to make sure that after all of your expenses (mortgage payment, utilities, bills, debt, etc.) that you still have leftover income for savings, retirement, and an emergency fund.

Make a detailed spreadsheet of your expenses and determine how much you can afford each month before you start shopping for mortgages.

3. Borrowing the maximum amount

While it may be tempting to buy the most expensive house you can get approved for, there are a number of reasons this might be a bad idea for you, financially. Stretching your budget each month is putting yourself at risk for not being able to contribute to savings, retirement, and emergency funds.

Furthermore, you may find that the extra square-footage you purchased wasn’t worth having to cut corners in other areas of your life, like hobbies, entertainment, and dining out.

4. Forgetting important expenses

If you’re currently renting an apartment, you might be unaware of some of the lesser-known costs of homeownership. Your chosen lender will provide you with an estimate of the closing costs, which you’ll have to budget for.

However, there are also maintenance, repairs, utilities, and other bills that you’ll have to figure into your monthly budget.

5. Waiving contingencies or giving the benefit of the doubt

While it may seem like an act of goodwill to give the seller the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like home inspections, it’s usually a bad idea to waive contingencies.

The process of purchasing a home, along with a purchase contract, have been designed to protect both your interests and the seller’s interests. It isn’t selfish to want to know exactly what you’re getting into when making a purchase as significant as a home.

About the Author
Author

Camara Realty, LLC

I have been in the real estate services business in the Juno Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Tequesta real estate markets for many successful years and will be here for many more. This longevity and confidence comes from my real estate services to a great many Buyers and Sellers, and their recommendations to others that result in repeat and referral business that keeps me productive and successful.

As a full service Juno Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Tequesta real estate professional, I work with Buyers, Sellers and Investors in real estate transactions spanning all of the price ranges and property types.

Residential Single Family – My residential single family services connect Buyers with Sellers every day, and I do it with professionalism and a total dedication to my clients. This property type is the majority of my market transactions, but by far not the only one in which I have expertise.

Condominiums – While condominiums are residential, they’re a very different market focus, and I am an expert in evaluating condos and helping Buyers and Sellers to cope with the special financing and homeowner concerns for this property type.

Multi–family – Investors are great clients for me. Multi–family properties are a very unique market. The detailed return on investment and valuation calculations investors need to evaluate properties for rental are second nature to me.
 

Vacant Land – Land is a very special property class. It’s relatively easy to show a gourmet cook a wonderful commercial kitchen in a home and see their eyes light up. It’s more of a challenge to help a Buyer or Seller to realize the potential in a piece of land. I'm the best at it in the Juno Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Tequesta real estate markets.

Call me at 561-629-3979 or email me to start a discussion of your needs. Or, fill out this quick form and tell me about your property interests and an overview of your needs.