First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

by : Pamela Dombrowski-Wilson

As with most important transactions, we don't know what we don't know. This relates to real estate and other transactions for which we have little experience and is why it is important to consult an experienced realtor who can represent the first time buyer. Buying a home can be exciting and fun, however it can also be frustrating and exhausting unless you have done some prior preparation to determine affordability, future plans and needs.

In this situation, pre-qualification is extremely important to determine the price range of affordability. Many first time home buyers look outside of an affordable price range or look at interest only loans. Both of these are potential problem areas that have placed other buyers in difficult situations unable to afford monthly payments or upside-down, owing more on a real estate property than the current value of the property.

Another common mistake is not planning ahead. Will you be able to stay in the home you purchase for at least three to five years? What changes might occur in your family life? Are you planning to have children? Will a parent or other family member move in with you? Will your job require that you move or relocate? What happens if the house requires two incomes and one contributor loses employment? By planning ahead you can avoid placing yourself in a situation or a home that becomes too small, impractical, too expensive or one from which you will need to move before the home has had time to appreciate, allowing you to come out ahead financially when it is time to sell.

Some buyers fall in love with a home by becoming emotionally involved in one aspect or another. They do not consider the location, school system, zoning, maintenance requirements, proximity to work and shopping or overall suitability. This is important for the resale value and long term potential of the property. A good realtor will advise buying in a neighborhood that will support resale of the property when the time arrives.

Other first time buyers lack focus by not narrowing their search to one or two physical areas of a city. Narrowing focus by location allows easier comparison of similar homes and other important considerations. It is also important to determine what is most important in the design of a home. Is there a requirement for at least three bedrooms? A fenced yard? Does the home need to be near schools? By focusing not only on location but requirements of a home, a realtor can save time by researching and previewing homes to make sure that only homes that meet your requirements are placed on your showing list.

Considering that a home is one of the most significant purchases of your life it is important to work with a realtor who can help you plan appropriately to make sure that your buying experience is the best possible.