5.5 Home Buying Do’s & Dont’s
in Home Buying
09 Jul 2016
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, there are a lot of mistakes to be made in the home buying process. All too often, buyers will jump in and let emotions make their decisions with emotions instead of logic. Owning a home is one of the most sought after accomplishments out there. So when faced with the daunting task of actually choosing a home, it’s important to have as much information as possible.
That’s why we’ve assembled a careful list of dos and don’ts for the home buying process. This list focuses on specific areas that buyers tend to either forget to do, or fail to avoid. The excitement of a potential deal for an investor or the rush of actually owning a home should never get in the way of a successful purchase. Take the time to read these dos and don’ts and take yourself one step closer to being a happy homeowner.
1. Do Your Research First
You will never find what you want until you know what you want. So your first step will be to sit down and figure out what that is. Do you want a condo? How important is a good community? Do you want a lot of extra amenities? How about easy maintenance? Are you looking for older charm or newer construction?
After you have written down a full list of criteria that you are interested in, you will need to organize that list. Make two columns, one for items you want and one for items you need. You may want hardwood floors, for instance, but you may need a two-car garage. This is definitely a difficult thing to do for some people because you truly have to be honest with yourself.
Study YOUR real estate market; Knowledge Is Power!
2. Do Understand Your Finances
You can spend all the time in the world researching properties, but if you don’t have the means to go through with buying those properties, you are out of luck. You need to not only understand what it is you can pay, but how you are going to come up with the payment as well. There are a lot of financing options available out there. One of the first things buyers need to do is talk to a qualified lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You don’t want to fall head over heels in love with a home that is out of your budget.
3. Do Negotiate With the Seller
Everything in life is negotiable. However, often times fear will inhibit a new investor or a first-time homebuyer from initiating a negotiation with the seller. Negotiations shouldn’t be scary or feel like a game of trickery. It should be focused on building a relationship, speaking honestly, and coming to a mutual agreement.
You should never wait too long to start the negotiation process. Desirable homes will not sit on the market for very long; so a little hesitation can really hurt you. Be confident in your decision and in your offer. The negotiation stage is definitely where you will want to seek professional help.
4. Don’t Try to Do it Alone
Buying a home is no easy task, especially for first-time buyers lacking the knowledge to ask the full list of questions and concerns involved. With hundreds of websites navigate; finding a home can be very confusing. Having a real estate professional on your side will help you to obtain the most useful and factual information.
Once you find a home you are interested in, you will need to consider things such as seller representations, home inspections, the condition of the sewer or plumbing, the quality and accessibility of local schools, zoning restrictions, neighborhood issues, the accessibility of public transportation, and more. A real estate agent can research the subject property to gather data and pull a Comparative Market Analysis to help you make an educated decision.
5. Don’t Forget the Home Inspection
Even if the seller provides you with an inspection report, you should always get one yourself as well. A seller may have chosen an inspector known for not pointing out many problems. The inspection is too serious to leave it in the hands of someone else.
Professional inspectors should look for defects or malfunctions in the systems of the home, or structural damage such as the roof, plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems, and more. In addition, your inspector should examine the land surrounding the house. There could be issues such as grading, drainage, retaining walls, or even plants affecting the house. See that old tree in the backyard? Does it have termites? An inspector can point that out.
Of course, before you go out and pay for a professional inspection, you are able to walk around the property yourself and do your own review.
5.5 Don’t Rush the Process
It can be all too easy to get caught up in the beauty of a perfectly staged home, and not notice important items, like a crack in the ceiling perhaps. Rushing into a purchase is a major mistake, especially for first-time homebuyers. If you rush the process, you will not be able to be as objective as you should be. You may turn a blind eye to things you should pay close attention to. Remember, houses will constantly come and go.