By Broderick Perkins, DeadlineNews.com
You know you are ready to buy a home when owning is cheaper than renting
and a home purchase is a natural fit for your lifestyle and financial needs,
goals and obligations. Instead of making the home-buying decision based on
income alone, consider it in a more holistic context that includes your
complete financial picture. Viewing home buying in a vacuum is a common
misstep first-time home buyers should avoid. Other potential slip-ups include:
Not knowing the market
In a buyer's market, buyers who feel a competitive edge are more likely to
leap before they look. The glut of information on the Internet makes obtaining
home buying and local market knowledge a relatively easy task. Real estate
agents, brokers, lenders, title companies and other real estate professionals
offer free seminars, workshops and classes. The vast library of real estate
guidebooks can also give you an edge. A lack of knowledge about home
buying and market conditions tends to perpetuate additional buying errors.
Failing to get pre-approved
Get pre-approved - in writing - for what you can afford, not what the lender is
willing to lend. A written pre-approval reveals that you are serious about
buying and it helps prevent you from shopping for more than you can afford.
Uneducated buyers tend to offer too little and ask for too many concessions,
including asking the seller to pick up buyer's costs, to make extensive
repairs, or to provide a home warranty. That could insult the seller, even in a
buyer's market. In a seller's market, it will alienate a seller who has taken the
time to price the home right and prepare it for market.
Paying too much
Avoid multiple-offer bidding frenzies. Make the same price checks sellers
make to price their homes right -- get comparables, track sale prices in your
area, scan the local newspaper to check asking prices, visit open houses and
use a knowledgeable real estate agent.
Failing to buy low now to sell high later
Buy the least expensive house on the best block. Buy into the least
expensive neighborhood in the best community. The cheapest home in a
neighborhood, community or region in transition provides the greatest return
on your investment in any market.
As you learn to avoid mistakes, you'll find it easier to put your emotions on
hold long enough to reach your goal. That prevents buyer's remorse, an
all-too-common malady suffered by ill-prepared buyers.
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