5 Things To Avoid When Buying A Home

Dated: 12/05/2018

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WAITING TOO LONG.  Buying a house is one of the biggest financial investments a person can make. This will be your home for the next five years or for the rest of your life, so of course you want to think about your options and see what else is out there. Unfortunately, in this market buyers don’t get a second chance. With low inventory, but a surplus of buyers, houses are going on and off the market quicker than they ever have. As a buyer, you need to be realistic. We all have our dream home in mind, but realistically, that home will be out of your budget or non-existent. You may dream of a massive kitchen with granite counter tops, a living room with vaulted ceilings, a large stone fireplace, and 5 bedrooms, but $150,000 won’t get you anywhere close to that home. You have to separate your wants from needs and may have to make some cuts. A more realistic want for a $150,000 budget could be 3 bedrooms, a fireplace in the living room, and a kitchen that needs some updating. And if that home IS available, it will go fast, so don’t wait too long. Know what you want and need before going into the process, otherwise you may miss out on the home for you.

NOT GETTING PRE-APPROVED BEFORE HOUSE HUNTING. This is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make in the home buying process. Let’s say you start house hunting and find the house you LOVE. You walk into the open and inviting home and decide, this is it. You tell your realtor you want to put in an offer, but then realize you have to get pre-approved first. That’s fine, you think, I’ll get it done. You then reach out to your lender the next day, since the showing the day before was at 6 and you couldn’t get in touch sooner, and start the application. Your lender tells you that it will take at least 24 hours to get everything processed and in order to get you pre-approved. Once you finally get your pre-approval letter and get it back to your realtor, the home of your dreams is under contract. Again, in this market you don’t get a second chance. Make getting pre-approved your first priority! If you need a lender, your realtor can give you recommendations.

NOT WORKING WITH A REALTOR. I guess some could say I’m biased since I am a realtor myself, BUT there are so many aspects of home buying that many buyers don’t understand, and their realtors do. Realtors are only there to help you along the way. They make your life easier by searching for properties within your requirements, setting up showings, doing the research of the schools and area, writing up the offer and other paperwork (addendums, extensions, repair reports, etc.), setting up the inspection, appraisal, CL100, the closing, and they make sure you get to closing! Not only do they do all of these things, plus damage control, but they have the contacts, knowledge, and resources that will make your home buying process 100x times easier and less stressful to you. And the best part? As a buyer, you do not pay your realtor! Their commission comes from the seller’s side. So, what I am telling you is that as a buyer, you get the expertise and help from a local realtor FOR FREE. Why wouldn’t you work with a realtor?  

NOT GETTING AN INSPECTION. Tons of houses are going for sale “As Is” because the seller doesn’t want to do repairs. Now is this because they are too lazy to make repairs, they are just unable to, or they know something major is wrong and they don’t want to pay for it? A home inspection is not required, but we do recommend getting one. Think of this situation. You find the home you want, make an offer, it gets accepted, and now you’re under contract and on your way to closing. You decided against an inspection because you don’t want to spend a few extra hundred dollars. You get to closing, you get your keys, and you move in a few weeks later. A few months down the road, you notice mold in the master closet, and you find out there is a leak in the roof that has been there for the past 7 months. Now you have to repair the leak, maybe even the roof, and pay to get rid of the mold. Who knows if this hidden mold caused any sickness in your household, or what else it could have done. The point of this scenario is, if you decided to spend a few hundred dollars to get the inspection when you could have, your inspector would have found the active leak, or the mold creeping up, and that the roof needs repair. You could have negotiated to have these things fixed OR completely decided against this house. Spend the few hundred dollars now. It could save you thousands in the future.

AVOID MAKING ANY FINANCIAL CHANGES. This includes missing payments such as credit card payments, car payments, and student loans. This includes changing jobs. Your job history is something that your lender looks at before you can be approved for a loan. The bank/lender giving you money to borrow is his investment, and he has to make sure that it is protected. If you don’t have a job to make the money to pay off this loan, why would he give you the money? This includes buying a car or other big purchases, such as furniture. Please make sure to talk to your lender before making any big financial changes! Your pre-approval is based on your current financial state, so changing that state may risk you losing your loan! Ask your lender about what you should and shouldn’t do during the home buying process – in regard to your loan.

These are 5 things you should not do when buying a home. These are not the only things to avoid, so if you have any more questions about what to do or not do in the process, make sure to ask your lender, your realtor, or feel free to reach out and I can help.

If you are in the Upstate of South Carolina and have any real estate needs, whether it’s buying, selling, or investing, I am here to help!

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