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Buying a home is a big deal. After all, few purchases in life have that many zeroes at the end. You want to get it right—but there are just so many ways it can go wrong.
So how do you keep your American Dream in check? Watch out for these common home-buying mistakes.
Considering Cost to Buy—But Not Cost to Own
When you’re ready to buy a home, you’re often focused on the down payment and monthly mortgage payment. But don’t forget about closing costs, which can total up to 5% of your home’s value. You should receive an estimate of the costs—which includes an appraisal fee, property taxes, homeowners’ insurance and legal fees—before your closing date.
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But the costs of homeownership don’t stop there. You’ll have monthly utility bills, ongoing insurance, property taxes, plus the costs of maintenance and repairs. Make sure you’ve budgeted for these items and have a fully funded emergency fund before you buy your home.
The resale value of your home may not seem important at move-in, but you can bet it will be at some point in the future. In fact, research shows most homeowners plan to stay in their home longer than they actually do. Keep that in mind when deciding which location and home features are right for you.
A real estate agent with experience in your area can give you advice about which neighborhoods have increasing home values and the types of homes that attract the most attention from buyers. Use your agent’s suggestions to narrow down your choices when shopping for your new home.
Unwilling to Kill the Deal
The home-buying process has many moving parts, and each one has the potential to turn a favorable deal into a disaster. Your home inspection, for example, could turn up problems that should reduce the seller’s asking price. If the seller isn’t willing to negotiate, you have to decide whether you want to live with (and pay for) those problems or decline to buy the home altogether.
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That can be a tough choice if you’ve already decided that this is the one-and-only perfect home for you. Don’t wind up regretting the choice to overpay for a home with problems. Nix the deal and keep looking until you find a home in excellent condition that has most of the features you want.
Hiring the First Agent You Meet
According to the National Association of Realtors, two-thirds of recent home buyers admit to interviewing just one real estate agent. Folks, this is the biggest purchase of your life. If ever there’s a time to be picky, this is it!
Don’t settle for the first agent who comes your way. Take time to talk to at least three different agents and partner with the one who inspires the most confidence in you. A true pro can help you avoid mistakes with advice that fits your situation and won’t hesitate to raise a flag if your home purchase goes from good to bad.
If you’re looking for advice you can trust, why not partner with an agent Dave recommends? Dave’s real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) have the knowledge, experience and dedication you’re looking for. Find the top agents in your area today!