First-Time Homebuyer? Avoid These House Hunting Mistakes

Posted on: 15 June 2015

Finding your first home can be a daunting process. There's so much to consider, from the number of bedrooms you want to the type of mortgage you plan on taking out. Many first-time homebuyers get so wrapped up in this process that they make a few mistakes that cost them either time, money, or the house of their dreams along the way. Below, you can learn about some mistakes to avoid making when it comes to finding your first home.

Mistake 1: Calling the numbers you see on realty signs instead of contacting your agent about the properties.

Chances are, if you're driving past a home in your search area that your agent has not contacted you about, it's probably either out of your price range or does not meet other criteria you've set. Otherwise, your realtor would have mentioned it to you. Calling the seller's realtor or taking the time to see the house is probably going to be a waste of your time. On the other hand, it only takes seconds to call your realtor, ask about the home, and find out whether it meets your basic criteria or not.

Mistake 2: Being afraid to snoop in closets and cupboards.

When you're looking at a home you're considering buying, it pays to be as thorough as possible. Don't be afraid to look in closets, up into attic entrances, and inside cupboards. You're not disrespecting the current homeowner's privacy -- you're making sure there are no hidden secrets that might make you regret buying the home.

Mistake 3: Making negative remarks about the home in front of the seller.

At an open house, you may not even know that one of the people in the room is the seller, so hold back on any negative comments. Certainly do not say anything negative about the home, even if it is true, directly to the seller. You could come to regret these comments later if you do put an offer in on the home. The seller may decline your offer and take another one, purely because you created a poor impression by speaking negatively about the home.

Mistake 4: Over-committing to fixing up a place.

If you're handy and what you really want is a place to fix up, then by all means, go for the house that needs work. Many buyers, however, overestimate how much work they can reasonably put into a home. They look at old carpets, some worn woodwork, and an outdated kitchen and think "those can be fixed." Three years later, however, the same problems are still there, because they simply did not have the time or know-how to make the updates. Be realistic about how much remodeling you can accomplish.

By avoiding these four mistakes, you'll make the process of finding and moving into the perfect home much easier. If you have any other questions about the home buying process, make sure you ask your realtor. He or she is not just there to find you a home; explaining the process is part of the job, too.

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