If you’re currently hunting for a new home, or if you plan on stepping into the market in the near future, then you need the experience to be positive and successful. To achieve this essential goal, here are 5 massive mistakes to avoid:
- Not conducting a comprehensive home inspection.
It doesn’t matter if the home that you’re interested in was constructed in the last few years, or half a century ago. A comprehensive home inspection performed by a reputable company will let you know if the property needs a new roof, mold remediation, updated electrical wiring, foundation repair, and so on.
- Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
Many people have their hearts broken — and their time wasted — due to a gap between how much they can borrow, and the cost of a coveted home. Avoid this very unpleasant surprise by getting pre-approved for a mortgage, so that you can focus on properties that fit within your price range.
- Falling in love with staging.
Naturally, sellers (or more often, their real estate agent or broker) stage homes so they look beautiful, spacious, spotless, and desirable. After all, it’s a competitive market, and sellers want their property to stand out and generate a flurry of attractive offers. However, while you can certainly admire the staging and get some delightful interior design ideas, it’s a major blunder to fall in love with the décor and lose sight of the layout, room sizes, and other fundamental details. Those aspects will ultimately determine whether you’re happy with your purchase, or if you deeply regret it.
- Not being focused and attentive.
Shopping for a home can be exhaustive and stressful — especially if you’ve been at it for a while. However, it’s absolutely in your best interest to strive to be focused and attentive when you attend open houses and private showings. Otherwise, you’re likely to miss important details, or find that your tired brain “talks you into” a decision that doesn’t prove to be wise or rational. Yes, this is often much easier said than done. But it’s definitely worth the effort, even if it means that you pause other family activities so you don’t get distracted (e.g. going on vacation, hosting guests, etc.).
- Not factoring in the commute.
Last but certainly not least: in many cities, there is no such thing as “rush hour” — it’s more like “rush day”, because driving at the speed limit is the rare exception rather than the typical norm. If you have your heart set on a particular property or neighborhood, then don’t assume what the commute to work will be a breeze — because if you’re wrong, there’s nothing you can do about it. Indeed, you may be better off going with your second or third preferred property if it means that you can your time on the road by dozens of hours a month.