Avoid these first time home buyer mistakes

As a first time home buyer it is my job to look out for you. I’ve got your back! Here are some tips to be on the lookout for so you can avoid them for the best experience possible!
Photo by Aubrey Odom via Unsplash
  1. Thinking you don't need a real estate agent : You might be able to find a house on your own, but there are still many aspects of real estate that can confuse a first time buyer. Rely on your agent to negotiate offers, inspections, finance and other details. The money you think you might have saved on commission can be quickly gobbled up by a botched offer, repairs or lack of details missing in the offer to protect you. 
  2. Going with the first real estate agent you find: Although not having a real estate agent can be a disadvantage, having the wrong one can also make the process more difficult. You won’t want to get half way into house hunting before realizing your real estate agent is wrong for you. Ideally you want to source an agent who is referred to you by family or friends, or a representative you have developed a relationship with over a long period of time.
  3. Getting your heart set on a home but not doing your homework: When it’s love at first sight it is not always what it appears to be, so keep an open mind. Acting too quickly may result in you going over budget or you may overlook potential pitfalls. Taking the time for proper inspections, budget comparisons and long term family planning can go a long way to ensuring your first home is the right one for you!
  4. Committing to more than you can afford: This is such a common mistake that first-time home buyers run into, but to ensure your future security it is imperative to truly consider your budget. You won’t want to sacrifice retirement funds or any emergency funds for mortgage payments. Be prepared for life's challenges, as we have seen through this past year, overextending could put your investments and house at risk.
  5. Choosing a fixer upper just because it is cheaper to buy: The old character home may have a lot of potential, but it is vital to be extra diligent during the inspection period. What will it really cost to get your home to where it needs to be? Negotiating a due diligence period will give you time to get estimates from contractors in case you find the extent of work and expenses to be more than you anticipated and you need to back out.
  6. Diving Into Renovations as Soon as you Buy: Whether or not you choose a fixer-upper or simply want to update some things in your new home, it is important not to rush into them. While renovations may increase the value of your home, overextending your credit to get upgrades done fast doesn’t always pay off. Take time to make a solid plan. Living in your home for a while before renovating will also help you plan the best functional changes to the layout.