by Kevin Hughes
on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 3:45pm.
Attention, first time homebuyers- the time to buy is now! The real estate market has some great opportunities for first time buyers. Everyone is telling you to buy a home. You are financially responsible and finally ready to go for it. First, hold on and take a deep breath. Before you sign on the bottom line, here are 3 first time buyer blunders you can avoid that will save you time, money, and tears in the long run.
3 Mistakes First Time Homebuyers Can Avoid:
If you are ready to start your home shopping now... You did not do your “home” work. This is fairly common. Folks get so excited about buying their first home that they do not prioritize needs and wants. Most people cannot afford to get everything and there is no “perfect” house but it is easy to get caught up in the emotional aspect of a home. Try to stay focused on your priorities. If you don’t, you will be unhappy before the last box has been unpacked. Write out your requirements not only of the home but your lifestyle. Is living near a park or good schools important? Do you need a bedroom on the main floor? Know what you can compromise and what you cannot. It will save you some grief in the long run.
You did not think long-term. Long-term thinking is more than 2 years. When shopping for your home, especially in an unstable market, make sure you find a home that suits your needs for the next 5-7 years. If it does not, make sure there is some flexibility to accommodate those needs. For example, an unfinished basement could be finished if you needed more room. Another option is to consider is deciding if turning it into a rental would be feasible if your circumstances change.
You did not budget for all the costs involved in owning a home. Sure, you have the mortgage, the real estate taxes, and homeowners insurance to consider, but there are additional costs of maintaining a home. If you are moving from an apartment, the yard work alone can be a big eye opener. Utilities can be very expensive especially in areas of extreme cold in the winter and warm summers. Another way to get in way over your head is to buy a “fixer” or foreclosure that needs work. Your “little project” can turn into a problem and maybe even a money pit.