House Hunting? 3 Mistakes To Avoid

Buying a house is not meant to be easy. There are a lot of physical, emotional, and financial steps to take once you decide it is time to become a homeowner. Thankfully, help is available. If you are about to begin or if you are currently in the middle of the house-hunting process, here are a few common mistakes you need to avoid.

Not Prequalifying

If you have an unlimited amount of cash, you can skip this step, since you have the means to purchase whatever house you want. In most cases, though, buyers will need to secure a mortgage to finance their home purchase. Unfortunately, not knowing how much home you can qualify for BEFORE house hunting is a big mistake.

Before you start house hunting, reach out to a mortgage company or your personal bank to begin the prequalification process. Lenders will use your income and credit report to determine how much of a home you can realistically afford to buy.

By knowing how much of a home you can afford and how much the lender will approve you for, you can narrow down your home search. This will also help you avoid looking at houses you cannot afford to buy.

Focusing on Cosmetics Only

It is natural to focus on appearance when you are house hunting, but that should not be your main concern.

Remember that certain cosmetic issues can be changed very easily. You can repaint rooms that have unappealing or dull paint colors. You can replace worn carpet with fresh carpeting or a new type of flooring with just a little time, energy, and money. Window treatments can be replaced and dead landscaping can be removed and enhanced, as well.

Instead of focusing primarily on the cosmetics of the home, focus on the layout, square footage, bedrooms, and neighborhood. These are factors that require extensive work and money to change or that cannot be changed at all.

Getting Overly Emotional

It is fine to fall in love with a home you could buy, but you really should avoid getting overly emotional. Getting too emotional can lead to financial distress and disappointment.

Many buyers make the mistake of putting in an offer that is priced well over the asking price or fair market value because they want the property so much. This can lead to financial distress in the future if you ever decide to sell.

Also, you may end up in a bidding war because you want the home so much, but you are really unable to afford it. Set your emotions aside and remember a house is not only a home, but also a financial investment.

To learn more, contact a company like Long & Foster REALTORS®.