If you have decided that now is the perfect time to search for a home, take a moment to review the below list of bad moves that might ruin your search.
1. Spending a lot of time looking at homes with no price guidelines in place.
Time is money when it comes to a lot of things and real estate is no different. While you are wasting time on homes that are out of your price range, interest rates could be rising and your dream home could be snatched up by someone else. The easiest way to determine your price range is to fill out a preapproval application from a lender. Don't worry, you don't have to use that lender for your loan but you will now have a way to view homes that only fall into your pricing bucket. A preapproval also shows the seller that you are serious about buying a home, and that can send your offer to the top of the pile.
2. Not understanding why location matters.
Real estate experts say that "location, location, location" are the top three things to look for in a property. You can change a lot of things about a home, but it's impossible to move the home to a new neighborhood or street. Target only homes in appropriate places so that you won't spend your first night in your new home listening to planes land nearby. Here's some issues buyers need to consider when locking down the location issue:
- School quality.
- Environmental issues like odors, noise, pollution, etc.
- Convenient distance to work, school, worship, recreation, shopping, and more.
- Neighborhood rules and governance. Homeowners' associations (HOA) offer both good and bad points.
- Zoning. Be sure to find out what the nice wooded area behind your home is zoned for so that you won't be surprised when a big box store begins construction.
3. Not considering other housing costs. While knowing how much you can spend in general is important, that is not the entire picture. Your mortgage is just one cost of owning a home. Be sure you understand how much to expect with the below list of associated housing costs by speaking to your real estate agent.
- Property taxes.
- Homeowners' insurance premiums.
- HOA fees.
- Other insurance needs like flood and hurricane coverage.
- Regular maintenance. Homes have needs that have to be addressed before they turn into a repair issue.
- Repair issues. It can cost several thousand dollars to pay for a new HVAC unit or a plumbing repair.
To get more information about any of the above, speak to a residential real estate company.