Buying a home is an exciting, life-changing experience. But it also comes with many responsibilities and costs that overzealous buyers tend to overlook. For a smooth home-buying experience, avoid making these top three mistakes.
By far, the biggest mistake home buyers make is thinking they can afford more than they really can. Even if you get approved for a $250,000 loan, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford a home of that price. Can you easily afford your rent or mortgage payment each month, or will you be struggling to make ends meet?
Home buyers often make the mistake of only considering how much it costs to buy a home and not the costs of owning one. Just a few of the monthly costs you’ll need to consider include:
- Routine maintenance like power washing, cleaning gutters, and exterior painting
- Non-home costs like credit card payments, car payments, and other loan payments
It’s always better to aim for a home that’s below your means to reduce your risk of facing financial difficulty once you buy the home. Remember, you don’t have to use the full amount you’re pre-approved for when shopping for a mortgage. Meet with a lender who can help you find an amount you can afford. Once you know how much you can comfortably work with, then you can begin searching for a home.
Skimping on the Home Inspection
One of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is skipping the home inspection. Some of the homes on the market today are still short sales or foreclosures. Oftentimes, this means sellers don’t have the means to maintain and upkeep the home, which can mean big, costly trouble for you.
A home inspection can protect you from buying a home that turns into a money sink. An inspection can pinpoint problems with the home’s electrical system, plumbing, insulation, roof, foundation, and heating and cooling systems. You should also get a termite inspection for even further protection against costly repairs. If you’re paying cash for your home, these 2 inspections are not required. However, it is always a good idea to get them anyway.
Home buyers who are on a tight budget will often skimp on inspections to save money, but the cost of repairs can far outweigh the cost of the inspection.
Putting Down the Minimal Down Payment
It’s tempting to put down as little money as possible when buying a home. The quicker – and cheaper – you can get into a home, the better – right? Not necessarily.
If you were to put just 3% down on your new home, you would have very little equity when you move into it. If something unexpected were to happen and you had to sell, you would wind up owing more than you would get on your home.
Questions? Let The Keadle Group guide you through your next Charleston real estate purchase!