The buying of a home is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. And it’s a decision they can’t get out of if they make the wrong one. It’s not like buying clothes, taking them home, and then deciding later you don’t like them. As long as you have the receipt you can take it back. If you buy the wrong home, however, you often have to live with it. Maybe for years, if not decades.
The other problem with house hunting is that your bidding on a one of kind item. If you miss out on the house you want, it’s not like you can go into a store and purchase the same model.
When looking for a home you have to be cautious, but not too cautious. You don’t want to have buyer’s remorse, but you also don’t want to have buyers regret over the home of your dreams that slipped through your hands.
Here are some common mistake people make during the home buying process.
Not Getting Prequalified for a Loan
This is one of the biggest mistake you can make when house hunting. It helps to get preapproved for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you know what your price range is. Another reason is that if there is an issue with your credit history you want to learn of it in advance so you can do something to rectify it. You don’t want to find a home that you either can’t afford or can’t even get a loan for.
There are two things you can do. One is to get prequalified, the other is to get pre-approved. The first is rather simple, as you supply a lender with basic information such as your income, credit card debt, etc. From this they can give you a basic idea of your price ranged.
Getting pre-approved means going through the entire process and there is usually a fee involved. They run a credit check, and go over all aspects of your debt. Once done, though, you’ll know not only what you can afford, but that you actually have a lender.
In Dubuque there are a number of excellent mortgage companies and banks that you can approach for a loan. Get a couple estimates so that you can find out what they offer and what they’re closing fees will be.
Trying to do it without a Realtor
We might be biased with this one, but trying to buy a home without the help of a Realtor can be problematic. They can help you not just in your home search, but in all aspects of the closing as well. They can alert you to homes in your price range the moment they go on the market. They can also help with negotiations and in reviewing the home inspections reports.
The cost for a Realtor is often more than made up in helping you through issues that could either prevent you from getting your home or ending up with a home that has problems that should have been revealed during the closing process.
Having Too Big of a Wish List
Your Realtor will review with you what you’re looking for in a home such as number of bedrooms and baths you need and what style of home you’re interested in. It doesn’t hurt to give them as much information as you want in a home, but don’t be tied to all of it. Decide which elements are the most important to you in case you find that there aren’t homes available in your price range that meet your criteria.
Not Researching the Neighborhood
In Dubuque or in the surrounding communities this might not be too much of a big deal. Still you want to take into consideration the school district you’re in, the commute to where you and your family members work, and even how noisy the neighborhood might be. There could be a lot of dogs in the neighborhood that are constantly barking or its close to a highway. Maybe take some time and walk around the neighborhood a couple times to get a feel for the surroundings.
Deciding Too Quickly in the Home Buying Process
Looking for a home can be a time consuming process and sometimes stressful, but it’s also something not to rush. It could be that the first or second home that you look at is the home of your dreams, but take the time to view a few houses. You might find the fifth or sixth house you look at is a much better choice.
Bidding Too Low
Negotiations are a part of the home buying process, but the last thing you want to do is bid too low in hopes of getting a better price. Especially when it’s a seller’s market. You definitely want to counterbid, but don’t try to lowball them. This is where a Realtor is handy to help advise you on the bidding process.
Bidding Too High
Perhaps you’ve missed out on a couple properties because you were outbid. So the natural reaction might be to overbid on a home to ensure you get it. The problem with that is it might be worth more than it’s worth. It could be a problem later if you decide to sell and find you have to take a loss. Or it could be a problem during the closing when your mortgage company has a third party evaluate the home and appraise it a lower price.
Not Reviewing Thoroughly Reviewing the Inspection Reports
Once you’ve made an offer on a home and it’s been accepted, there are still things to be concerned about. You will have inspections done of the home and your mortgage lender will have an assessment done of the home. Often there aren’t any major issues in the reports, but review them carefully. There could be things that require you to go back to the seller to address them. Read our four-part series on home inspections to learn what to be looking for.
Not Having a Plan for Your Current Home
If you’re selling a home at the same time, what is your plan if you find a home you like. Are you going to carry a bridge loan to cover both properties until your home is sold? Or is the selling of your home a contingency of your buying a new home. It can be a complicated process as you might have to find you’ve sold your home and have to wait on moving into a new one. Or you might find yourself owning two homes for a while, meaning twice the costs. Is this something you can afford? This is where a Realtor can help you determine what the best option is for you.
If you’re looking for a home in Dubuque or one of the surrounding communities, then contact American Realty of Dubuque. We’ll put you in touch with one of our experienced Realtors to help you get through the home buying process.