Top 10 Homebuying Mistakes

Buying a home is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make! You’ll be glad you took the time to understand the process and that you avoided 10 of the most common mistakes.

1. Shopping for a home and putting in offers without being pre-approved.

It can cost you the deal. Your real estate agent wants to ensure you submit a strong offer that will get noticed and accepted, especially in a seller’s market where there are multiple offers and over-bidding. Getting pre-approved will give you an advantage and help move things along.

2. Not using a real estate agent to help with the process.

Agents typically provide representation to homebuyers at no cost and they take care of all of the paperwork and negotiations involved in a real estate transaction. There’s no reason not to use one, unless you’re one yourself. Even then, a second set of eyes and ears are priceless.

3. Buying a home without professional inspections.

There is a cost for having a house inspection, but the cost does not compare to the potential expenses you can incur if you purchase a house that has hidden problems. An inspection is completed to uncover issues with the major components of a house: foundation, plumbing, electric, roofing, and HVAC.

4. Signing documents without reading them.

Know what you’re signing. If needed, consult a lawyer. Making oral agreements. Get all agreements in writing.

5. Not completing a final walk-through.

Let’s face it, things happen and sometimes people are not as honest as we’d like them to be. Always complete a final walk-through of your new home BEFORE closing so that you can visually inspect for new damages, ensure all of seller’s items have been removed, check for cleanliness, and check off on repairs made by the seller as promised.

6. Choosing a lender because they have the lowest rate.

Low rates are awesome and can save you money in the long-term over the course of owning your home. However, satisfaction with the mortgage company and loan officer you select is critical. Do your research. Always get a good faith estimate.

7. Not getting a mortgage rate locked – in writing.

Rates change daily.

8. Not getting a home warranty.

A house is not like a TV or appliance. It cannot simply be replaced. Not having a home warranty to cover potential problems as they arise can cost you big time.

9. Not shopping for home insurance prior to closing.

Start shopping for insurance as soon as you have an accepted offer.

10. Making moving plans for the day of closing.

Your loan officer, real estate agent, and the title company all have the same goal – close on time! They want to hand you the keys to your new home on the day of closing and snap a photo with a big smile on your face. However, closing delays happen. Always have a plan B.

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This has been a quick tip by, the website for smart renters. If you're a renter who is curious about how you can turn your rent payment into a mortgage payment, check out our home buying course and home ownership plan for renters. Check out the course.

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