Resources for Buyers
These websites provide invaluable information on homebuying, financing and home maintenance.
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The homebuying process can often appear scary to first-time homebuyers. Be sure to do your research and avoid the top 10 mistakes below. Before you know it, you will soon be stepping over the threshold of your new home!
Top 10 Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make
- Timing Problems. Not planning the move to coincide with the end of the lease often creates a big dent in the budget. Check with your landlord about an early release clause from your lease if you are considering buying a home.
- Looking at Homes You Can't Afford. You might find that when you do a reality check and start looking in your price range that the houses are rather disappointing. Get pre-qualified and then stick to your budget.
- Buying the Wrong Sized Home. Consider how long you plan on being in the property and plan for any lifestyle changes that could possibly happen.
- Buying in a Neighborhood You Know Nothing About. Think about whether or not this neighborhood will make you as happy as the house does. Do your homework.
- Operating on a First-House-is-Best Theory. Season your eyes by inspecting different types of homes. This will help establish your objectivity after coming from a renting situation.
- Buying a Property That's Difficult to Resell. Walk yourself through all the negatives about the property. Most first-time homebuyers sell within five to seven years. Think long and hard about how you would sell the home prior to buying.
- Overextending Your Budget. Avoid feeling pinched; just because you have been pre-qualified to a certain level doesn't mean that is where your comfort zone is for payments. Write down everything you spend for two months, that will give you a real picture of what you spend. Then plan for emergencies, vacations, savings and upkeep of the new home. You'll have a much better picture of what kind of payments you can really afford. Use rent vs. buy calculator
- Being Indecisive. Take all the time you need, but don't be afraid to make a commitment when you've found your dream home. Everyone gets cold feet at some time during the process.
- Choosing the Wrong Mortgage. The thirty-year fixed rate is not the only, or necessarily the best, answer. Have your lender show you on paper how much each program will cost you and how they compare with each other. Use mortgage calculator
- Under-insuring the Property. Don't forget to increase insurance coverage as the home appreciates in value, and properly insure the replacement value of the contents.
(Adapted from "100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask," by Ilyce R. Glink, Times Books, a division of Random House, New York, New York, 10022. 1994)