Avoid These House-Hunting Mistakes
Buying a new home is an important decision, and it can be a complicated process. It’s easy to walk into a space and start imagining a life there. What’s much harder is to make sure that you end up with a home that will be not only a wonderful place for you to live, but also a good long-term investment. Avoid these house-hunting mistakes on the road to finding your dream home.
Mistake: Looking at Expensive Houses First
One of the biggest house-hunting mistakes you can make is to look at homes in the high end of your budget first. There’s nothing worse than falling completely in love with a space only to find out it is out of your price range. Homes on the upper end of your budget are more likely to tick all the boxes for desired features, but they leave less room for you to negotiate and conserve money in your budget. Instead, look at lower-end options first. If you find a place that ticks most of the important boxes and saves you money in the process, it’s worth it.
Mistake: Settling for Less
If you’ve been on the hunt for a long time, it’s tempting to go with a house that has good bones, but would require costly repairs. Don’t despair and don’t settle if it’s not the right house. Keep in mind that new homes are constantly coming on the market. What you see available now isn’t the end-all-be-all. Remember, you’re making a long-term commitment and you should be really happy with your decision. Hold out for the right fit.
Mistake: Skipping the Inspection
Sometimes, in really competitive markets, you’ll be pressed to make a decision quickly. While you don’t want to lose out on being able to place a bid on a house you love, you still need to do your due diligence. If you aren’t able to research the neighborhood and complete a home inspection, it might not be worth moving forward. It’s better to have peace of mind and certainty about such an important decision. Just imagine ending up in a house that had serious internal issues you couldn’t have known about before? Don’t be surprised; get an inspection before deciding anything.
Mistake: Not Asking Enough Questions
Particularly with staged homes, it can be hard to look at a home objectively. Shiny new granite or pretty fixtures are delightful to look at. The trouble comes, however, when they distract you from noticing something else. How is the plumbing? What records do they have of previous home repairs? Can I check the floorboards underneath this living room rug? Keep your eye out for things that might be damaged or outdated. Don’t be distracted by beautiful furniture or smart décor. Make a list of questions to ask beforehand about things that are important to you as a buyer or to the structural integrity of the house.
Mistake: Sitting on a Decision
Finally, one of the house-hunting mistakes that can hurt the most: waiting too long to bid and losing a home you love. Unfortunately when it comes to buying a home, you snooze you lose. While you should absolutely take time to do your research into the neighborhood and complete a home inspection, you absolutely should not wait to long to make a move. You could end up deciding that you love the place and want to move forward after two weeks, but another buyer beat you to the punch. Don’t let this happen! The best way to avoid this is to be very clear about what you want in a home, and know exactly what you need to do to make sure the home will be a good long-term investment. Be prepared so that when you find the right space, you can make a move quickly.
Buying a home will never be a flawless process, but you can do a lot to minimize the risk of ending up with a home you don’t love. Avoiding these house-hunting mistakes is just one way to make sure the next home you buy is right for you.