As everyone has certainly told you countless times already, buying your first home isn't easy. In fact, it will probably be the most complicated financial transaction of your life up to that point. That means when you hear of shortcuts, you have to remain skeptical. In a guide for first-time homebuyers, Trulia outlined some common mistakes made by rookies, many of them more easily overlooked than one would think.
The home inspection
If you've been told that you can go ahead and skip the home inspection on that brand new development, you've just received your first piece of bad advice. A home inspection is an essential step in the process of finding the right home to buy. At a cost of as little as $400, it's essentially an insurance policy against any possible defects that may exist within. That initial cost can easily be regained after negotiations with the seller. It's easy to become emotionally attached to a fixer-upper full of charm, but the unfortunate truth is such a house may be hiding expensive or even dangerous issues that only a professional inspection can sort out.
Falling in love too easily with a houseis a typical hang up among rookie buyers. Even if you think the first house you see is "the one," take the time to continue searching and don't get too emotionally invested. Recent research from the National Association of Realtors found nearly 5 million homes were sold in 2014 alone. That proves there are many homes out there to choose from, and you'll never know what possibilities exist until you've seen the full spectrum. Using a qualified real estate agent can help move this process along more than simply scouring the Internet yourself. An agent will be able to guide you in the right direction toward the home that works best for you, thanks to their superior knowledge of the local market.
Even if you are considering flying solo when it comes to finding your new home, Trulia warns against relying on a listing agent. These real estate agents will do their best to court you into a sale, and therefore could sweep potential issues under the rug in the interest of closing the deal. If you ever feel rushed or pressured into a sale, chances are it's best to offer a polite "thanks, but no thanks" and walk away.
Don't forget the rules
Many first-time buyers are coming from a prior arrangement that entailed strict and explicit rules regarding their living space. This usually took the form of a lease agreement, or perhaps your parents household rules. It's easy to assume that with homeownership comes free reign to do as you please, but as many quickly learn, this is not at all the case. Trulia notes that deed restrictions on homes often dictate the enforcement of certain standards in order to ensure the house maintains its value over time. According to Realtor.com, a few common deed restrictions include how many rooms can be added, landscaping requirements, rules for pets and whether you can operate a business from your home. First time buyers need to carefully inspect everything they sign in order to prevent any surprises at the last minute.
A penny saved
Saving for the down payment on a home is the classic life goal to which many hopeful homeowners aspire. Unfortunately, it's not the end of the financial commitment that is owning a home. Not even close, said Trulia, as they recommend a variety of other savings that must be accounted for. Make sure to have at least two months of mortgage payments saved up, as well as funds for new furniture and moving expenses.