Real Estate Blog

5 Common House-Hunting Mistakes

This is certainly a great time to purchase a home. It’s a buyer’s market, as people are desperate to sell and there is no shortage of available properties in quality neighborhoods all across the country. Interest rates are near their all time low, so as long as you have a solid credit history you should be able to secure a mortgage that meets your financial goals. It’s all good news, and you should absolutely get excited about the prospects. However it is still incredibly easy to get burned, especially if this is your first foray into the real estate world. Inexperienced buyers are likely to make missteps, so make sure you do a good deal of research before you even visit your first open house. To help you along, here are five common house-hunting mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

One of the most common is becoming enamored with a home that is out of your price range. You step out on the curb, look up at some beautiful property and immediately start picturing your family enjoying life there. You walk in the front door and gush over the quality details, the high end appliances and the spacious layout. It’s all thrilling, but that thrill turns to terror when you read the listing price. This can lead to a spiral of disappointment, and you may end up feeling stuck where before you felt like anything was possible. It’s a good idea to start your search at the far low end of your chosen price range. That way you’ll begin with reasonable expectations.

At the same time, don’t think you absolutely have to take a certain house just because it is available and meets your budgetary needs. That’s the best part of this market, that there’s always more to see. Unless you have a very particular set of requirements that are rare in that region, take the time to shop around. There might be something very similar in that same neighborhood. Just don’t get rushed into a deal because you feel like you absolutely must have that house.

Another common mistake is shaking hands over a property before you’ve fully explored its potential flaws. This is partly due to excitement, and partly just not knowing what you should be looking for. Just remember that if it seems like an issue now, over the passing years it will become the bane of your existence. There are some flaws you can deal with, like bad carpeting and poor fixture choices in the bathrooms. But if the staircase is in an awkward spot, you won’t be able to do anything about it without tens of thousands spent on professional renovation. Just wait until you find what you need.

Perhaps you do have an eye for flaws, but are confident in your ability to make changes. It’s definitely great to be a handyman around the house, but don’t overestimate your abilities. Always plan for the worst case scenario, so your budget has some wiggle room. If you look at a potential house and think you’ll be able to make all the upgrades yourself you’ll be stuck with a tiny budget, and then possibly end up in trouble if the reality of the situation doesn’t match up.

Careful consideration is crucial, but you also can’t slip up on your timing. The professionals at Darby Grimmett Realty will always caution you against rushing through your decision just to get an offer in before the competition. Take the time to feel the place out and make sure you sleep on your choice. On the flip side, make sure you don’t drag the decision on for too long. Losing your new home because you waffled on and on is a seriously disappointing experience. Remember, the longer you spend searching, the more time you are taking away from everything else that needs to be done in your life.

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