Buying a home can be a very complex, and sometimes emotional experience. Some buyers find themselves getting caught up in the emotional side, and let their heart take over their head. Here are a few tips from Coldwell Banker on how would-be buyers can stay grounded and avoid some common pitfalls during the home buying process:
- DON’T fall in love with the first house or neighborhood you see. That Victorian home with the white-picket fence may win your heart at first glance, but don’t fall in love too fast. You need to keep an open mind to make sure you find the right fit for all your needs. At the end of your search, it may turn out that the riverfront ranch that’s closer for your commute is a better bet all-around.
- DON’T buy beyond what you can afford. It’s easy to fall into that all-you-can-eat attitude, especially if this is your first home purchase. You “want it all” when it comes to size, amenities, location, etc. But remember that your eyes may have a larger appetite than your wallet. Make sure that the down payment, closing costs, monthly expenses, and taxes are truly within your income and savings range before you sign on the dotted line. Your Coldwell Banker sales representative can help you ‘crunch the numbers’ ahead of time, to help you determine what you can comfortably afford.
- DON’T treat your home the way you treat your stock portfolio. It’s unrealistic and unwise to expect your housing investment will always appreciate as quickly as high-risk stocks or bonds. Buying for lifestyle reasons, as opposed to trying to turn a quick profit, will help ensure that you are viewing home purchasing and ownership in the right context.
- DON’T try to time the market. By the time most consumers sense a major real estate or financial market shift, the tables have typically already turned. Instead of waiting for a slim and unreliable window of time – and potentially missing out on the perfect home – buyers should focus on their own lifestyles and buy when the time is truly right for them.
- DON’T jump into an overly tempting or confusing mortgage. When it comes to down payments and mortgages, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, especially if financing outside of major financial institutions. Be sure to read carefully through every aspect of the proposed agreements to fully understand your end of the bargain. Consider getting independent financial advice if you’re unsure of your options. For instance, what seems like an attractive rate now may increase dramatically a few years down the road.
- DON’T underestimate the value of a trustworthy real estate agent’s on-the-ground expertise. While being a savvy buyer and doing one’s homework will help on the road to homeownership, a local expert with years of negotiating experience is invaluable when it comes to scouting out the perfect home – and closing the deal.