Knowing the most common home buyer mistakes to avoid will help you move through the home buying process that much smoother and faster. Make sure you completely understand this list of the most common home buyer mistakes so you can prevent any future mishap and ensure a clear path to the closing table.
Not Getting Pre-Qualified & Pre-Approved
Getting pre-qualified gives an Indianapolis home buyer an idea of how much they can borrow, and is usually one of the first steps when buying a home. If you begin researching and looking for homes without knowing how much you can afford, you could be wasting time, energy, and stress on homes you can’t afford.
Being pre-approved for a loan means a lender has gone through your credit rating and all other pertinent financial information, and has actually verified a specific loan amount for you. Looking at it from the seller’s perspective, an offer from a potential home buyer who already has been pre-approved looks more enticing than the same offer from someone who isn’t approved for home financing.
Falling in Love
You may hear real estate agents say, “Never get emotionally attached to a property.” What if your offer doesn’t get accepted or major defects come up on the inspection report, then what? Obviously, you shouldn’t think every offer will be rejected, but it’s important to be realistic and prepared. No matter what you do, do not show a seller – or even your real estate agent for that matter – that you love a particular home. As soon as the seller knows a home buyer wants their house, the seller is at a complete advantage and can leverage this information to however they choose – most likely a higher purchase price. Especially in today’s housing market, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. So, be careful how and who you express your feelings around, and you should have one less thing to worry about.
Another common home buyer mistake to avoid is moving too quickly and choosing the wrong mortgage type, or mortgage lender. Do not assume that because mortgage rates are at an all-time low, every mortgage and lender in Indianapolis is the same. Not only should you take your time and be sure you know everything you’re signing, but always know where your money is going and what’s your best choice. These days, Indianapolis home buyers are too content with their first given mortgage rate, or don’t know any better. Just as if you were going to buy car insurance, you’d shop around for the best rates first. The same principle applies here. Just make sure you pick your home financing with care.
Not Putting Everything in Writing
As you’re walking through an open house or showing with your real estate agent, do not assume that everything in the house is staying. Be sure you know what is and isn’t included in the purchase agreement, and don’t rely on verbal agreements. A written contract will trump a verbal agreement every time. This will keep you from walking into an empty house after closing, when you thought all the furniture was staying.
Not Putting Contingencies in Your Offer
When submitting an offer, make sure you protect yourself and your money by including contingencies. Contingencies protect you, should you need to back out of an offer. Two contingencies you should always consider including are: financing contingency, and inspection contingency.
If you plan on purchasing an Indianapolis home with a mortgage loan, be sure to include a mortgage financing contingency. Even if you’re already pre-approved for a mortgage, Indiana lenders will typically always need a formal appraisal on the property to confirm that there is enough equity to make the loan.
Never buy a home without a proper home inspection, and make sure you know what the home inspection is covering. Indianapolis home inspections can vary on cost, but will save you so much more in the long run. If the home inspector identifies major repairs needed, or faulty structures and systems, this contingency protects the home buyer so they can renegotiate or break the deal.
Indianapolis home mortgage lenders will tell you how much you can borrow. However, that doesn’t mean you should always spend the full amount on your house. Fully understand your own expenses, and those you provide for. Buying an Indianapolis home that is out of your price range could prevent your ability to fund other important items in the future and be very difficult to really enjoy the home.
Forgetting About Resale Value
It can be easy to look for a house that only keeps your family happy and safe now. Don’t forget that housing markets and areas change. When you are house hunting, be sure to think about when it comes time to sell. Make sure you do your research on the neighborhood/area so you have a good idea how property values will change in the future.
Working With the Wrong Real Estate Agent
One final common home buyer mistakes Indianapolis home buyers should always avoid is selecting the wrong real estate agent. Your neighbor, brother, or coworker may be great agents, but picking a part-time agent is a huge mistake. In order to really know the housing market, to really know Indianapolis real estate, it requires more than full-time attention.
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