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Eight Foolish Flops for First-time Home Buyers to Avoid

Eight Foolish Flops for First-time Home Buyers to Avoid

At this point, April Fools’ Day may be a distant memory; but, anyone who works in the real estate industry will tell you that some foolish things can happen on any day of any month.

Often times, first-time home buyers fall into a group that may be fooled by some of these prank-worthy predicaments. Here are eight foolish trends that first-time home buyers can fall into:

1. They don’t interview agents before choosing one.

To their credit, many first-time home buyers go into the home-buying process knowing that they should work with a real estate agent. However, they may be so excited about the process that they simply sign on with the first agent they meet or the first one that a family member or friend suggests.

Though this may seem like a good idea, first-time home buyers should take their time, interview a few real estate agents and select the one that they feel most comfortable with – the one who will best represent their home-buying needs.

2. They go to open houses or arrange to look at a home without telling their agent.

Some first-time home buyers forget is that their agent is working for them – there is no need for them to do legwork without telling their agent. First of all, real estate agents are happy to arrange and accompany buyers to open houses and showings. Secondly, not telling your agent about each home that you’re interested in is actually doing yourself a disservice. How will your agent know what you like if you don’t tell them?

3. They call another agent because a house they want to see is listed by another agent.

Not only should you tell your agent about every house you’re interested in, but you also should realize that your real estate agent can show you any house that you want to see – whether it is their listing or not! Besides your spouse, your real estate agent should be the first person you call when you see a house you like!

4. They don’t have any idea where they want to live.

We’ve already told you that you should tell your agent every detail about homes that you’re interested in. But, what happens if you have no idea where that home may be? Some first-time home buyers go into the buying process without any idea of where they might like to live. So, they spend a huge amount of their time – and their real estate agent’s time – looking at homes all over a region, before deciding on a community they like. Any buyer should do themselves and their agents a favor and know where they want to find their dream home before they begin searching.

5. They spend months looking at homes, give up and decide to rent.

Not knowing where you want to buy can lead to months of frustration. So, first-time home buyers who fall into this boat may decide to abandon their home-buying goals and settle for renting for yet another lease term. No one ever said the home-buying process was short and sweet; however, finding and buying the right home is rewarding, no matter how long it takes! First-time home buyers – and any other buyer for that matter – should never forget to keep that home ownership goal in mind!

6. They skip the mortgage pre-approval process.

It is possible to keep home-buying goals so close to heart that some first-time home buyers forget one of the very first steps in the process… getting mortgage preapproval. Not only does mortgage preapproval confirm that a home buyer can afford to buy a home; but, it also reveals the top of their budget, so they can determine a reasonable price range when they start looking at homes.

7. They don’t factor in additional expenses.

Sometimes when first-time home buyers gain mortgage preapproval, they immediately begin to look at homes in the top of their price range. While that may seem like a natural idea, buyers have got to remember that a home’s selling price is not the final fee associated with the home. Buying a home comes with additional expenses like property taxes, insurance, regular maintenance fees, possible homeowner association fees and more! This is why it is so important for buyers to determine a price range they not only are approved for, but also will be comfortable with!

8. They apply for other loans during the closing process.

If only mortgage preapproval were the last step, instead of the first! First-time home buyers fail to realize that their mortgage preapproval must turn into mortgage approval before they are able to purchase a home. Some first-time buyers get so excited about buying and filling their new home that they apply for new lines of credit during the closing process. Taking on this new debt affects not only their debt-to-income ratio, but it also can lower their credit scores. The last thing you want to do during the home-buying process is alter your financial picture!

If you’re a first-time home buyer – and even if you’re not – there is help out there to protect you from any of these foolish home-buying flops! Get your home-buying process started.