Top Three Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Top Three Mistakes Home Buyers Make
By Linda Zimmerhanzel
Don’t get caught up in the wave of excitement to the extent that you make some costly mistakes in the path to homeownership. Think strategically. If you do that, you can avert disappointment and make buying a home the smartest decision you ever made!
HERE ARE THE TOP THREE THINGS TO AVOID WHEN YOU BUY A HOME (and it doesn’t matter if it is the first or fifteenth home you’ve purchased):
1. SHOP BEFORE KNOWING WHAT YOU QUALIFY TO BUY. This can set you up for disappointment when you have fallen in love with a $300K home and only qualify for a $150K one. Know what your budget is before walking into that first house! There are other choices to make once the lender sets the stage — loan type and terms. You are in charge and it is best to know all this before you jump in.
2. NOT TRUSTING YOUR INSTINCTS. This is a big one but not so easy to discern. Is it buyer’s remorse, or instincts telling you this is the wrong decision? The best defense is knowledge, research and guidance of a good Realtor®. You need input from an experienced, trusted source to let you know what you are feeling is valid or perhaps a bit of nerves.
3. PLANNING TOO FAR AHEAD. I can’t tell you how many of my clients say … ‘Well, I am buying so my sister and her three kids can move here in case she decides to leave California’ or ‘I want to buy in case my mother who is very independent and 60 years old needs to come live with me’ or ‘I am 50 and in good health but want to buy something my kids will want to move into when I am gone’. These are all very considerate but will your sister really move or your mom want to live with you or your kids not be living their own independent lives? What are the odds? You need to think of your own needs and immediate life plans when you buy. Planning for possibilities is important but perhaps a five-year strategy is a good rule of thumb. The National Association of Realtors® did a study in 2018 that showed Austin residents keep a home for an average of 8 years (national average is 13). That may increase as interest rates increase because it will make a lot of sense to stay longer in a home with which you have a 2.99% interest rate as current rates for a new home would be 5.5%. However, I like to remind everyone that ‘life happens’ and none of us know what awaits us around the next corner so it best to plan for your home with immediacy in mind.

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