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5 House Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

buying a home

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that 90% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine to research available homes.

A smart idea, considering that driving around searching for those “For Sale” signs takes significantly more time than swiping through your smartphone. But there are a lot of mistakes that house hunters are making, you might be able to learn from in order to score your ideal new home.

Not Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval

Unless you plan on paying cash, whether you plan on purchasing one of the farms for sale in Michigan or a tiny home in California, be sure to get a mortgage pre-approval to avoid disappointment and wasting a lot of time after falling in love with a home you can’t afford. It’s a must to know how much you’ll be able to borrow, that way you can limit your search to houses that are within your range, allowing you to make a smart financial decision rather than an emotional one that may end up going sour in the long run anyway.

Not Using an Agent

Once you have that pre-approval in hand, it’s time to get an agent. Going without is like trying to open a can without a can opener. A real estate agent is your most important house-hunting tool as they’re the first to know about new listings, and sometimes listings that haven’t even hit the market yet. They can also help you through the negotiation process and avoid problems that might arise.

Not Knowing What You Want

You may be so excited about buying a new home that you’ve forgotten one of the most important things – what do you want in that new home? Is there a particular neighborhood you’d like to live in? Do you have to have a yard? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want a condo, townhouse, a single-family home or a grand estate? Create a list of must-haves and wants to make the hunt less time-consuming and more successful. Finding the perfect home with everything on your list is unlikely, so prioritizing can be a big help.

Badmouthing the Seller’s Taste While Looking Through the House

These days, it’s a sellers’ market, which means, the seller has the upper hand, and often multiple offers. That seller could decide who moves in not only based on the highest price, but who is going to be living there. If you walk through the house badmouthing the owner’s taste in art, furniture, or anything else, unless your offer is way above the selling price, odds are, you won’t be moving in. You can always let your agent know what your likes and dislikes are later, far away from the ears of the seller.

Not Being Realistic

If you say “forget it” to every home that has a few cosmetic issues, you could be missing out on a diamond in the rough. On the other hand, if the home has some serious problems, don’t make the mistake of thinking that there’s a cheap and easy fix – it could turn out to be a money pit. If the house has you envisioning major changes, talk to a contractor about how much it will cost first, before agreeing to buy.

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