Friday, 10 November 2017

Avoid These First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

If you are in the process of looking for your first home, you will no doubt be excited. This is a huge step in anyone’s life. Getting on the property ladder isn’t always easy in today’s day and age, but it is certainly worth it. To make the whole process a lot easier and to ensure you don’t run into any massive hurdles along the way, make sure you avoid the common mistakes mentioned below.

  1. Being shy – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is going to be one of the biggest investments you ever make. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking question after question. After all, it’s a massive commitment you are making.
  2. Skipping the home inspection – A lot of people skip the home inspection in an attempt to save money. They simply decide to inspect the home themselves. However, it takes a trained eye to see any issues that exist within a home. The inspection is so important, as it will ensure you don’t end up with a nightmare scenario on your hands when you move in. Moreover, you can often use the findings of the survey to negotiate a lower price, so a survey may actually save you money in the end.
  3. Not double-checking the fees – It is important to check the fees with a magnifying glass. Mistakes are easily made, and the last thing you want to do is end up paying even more money for your new home.
  4. Not thinking about the future – Of course, you cannot predict the future, but it is important to think about it now so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. Ask questions like; have property values in the area been declining? If there is a lot of undeveloped land, ask what is going to be built there.
  5. Underestimating the total cost – This is one of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make. You find an affordable new property, you save the money for the deposit and you have enough for the monthly mortgage payments, and you assume that everything is fine. However, there are many more costs you need to think about. This includes costs during the buying process like legal fees and the cost of a home inspection. You then have ongoing expenses such as insurance and property maintenance. They always say that you should set aside 10% of the home’s value for all of these added costs.
  6. Choosing the wrong mortgage – Nowadays, there are so many different mortgage options, which can make it difficult to know where to start. The last thing you should do is rush into choosing a mortgage without thoroughly understanding it. A lot of mortgages seem great in the beginning because the prices are lower, but these rates can easily rise if the mortgage is a variable one. It may be worth going for a fixed mortgage. Yes, you may pay slightly more, but you will have greater control of your money, as you will know exactly what you are paying every month. This means that there will be no nasty surprises later down the line.
  7. Making home insurance an afterthought – One condition of your lender’s agreement will usually be to get buildings insurance. This is an insurance policy that will cover the bricks and mortar of your new property. You should not have to purchase this from the lender directly, though, so do keep this in mind. It is also important to get contents cover included as well. This will cover your belongings to make sure you are protected from any damage or loss that occurs while your goods are in transit, so long as you use a professional removal company.
  8. Ending up with nowhere to live – This nightmare scenario happens more often than you would think. The solicitor tells you that the contracts will be exchanged very soon, so you give your landlord the month’s notice. You then discover that there is a hold-up and the contracts aren’t going to be ready as quickly as you imagined. This results in a few months of sleeping on your parent’s sofa. Not ideal!
  9. End up paying both rent and a mortgage – The opposite from the former point is when you leave it too late to hand in your notice. Make sure you are aware of how much notice you need to give to your landlord. You may find that your contract asks for two or three months notice rather than the typical one-month notice period.
  10. Telling everyone that you are buying a new home – While it can be very tempting to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone that you come into contact with, it is usually better to only tell your close family and friends. This is because most deals usually experience delays at some point, and it can be very frustrating when everyone keeps asking you about your new property.
  11. Compromising on the important things – When you start out on your home buying journey, it is likely that you will have made a list of all of the things you are not going to compromise on. If you have not done this yet, you should. Make sure you never compromise on the things you have written down. There may reach a point in your journey where you are tempted to. You could, for example, fall in love with a stunning two-bedroom house. But if you are planning on starting a family in the near future and want three bedrooms, you are going to have to let this property go.
  12. Skipping mortgage qualification – It is important to get pre-approved for a loan before you make an offer on a home. A lot of people assume that they will be given a loan of ‘x’ amount once they work out what they can afford. But what the bank is willing to offer you may be completely different. This is why it is important to get the loan pre-approved first to make sure you don’t waste everyone’s time.
  13. Not knowing what you can afford – Another mistake is simply not knowing what you can afford. Don’t dive into the buying process headfirst because you are excited. You need to sit down and work out your finances. Make sure your calculations are realistic. If you deduct your expenses from your income, and believe the leftover amount is what you can afford to pay every month, you will be in for a big surprise. You need to cover living expenses and make sure you have some cash leftover for the nasty surprises life likes to throw our way from time-to-time.
  14. Mistaking the lender valuation for a survey – As mentioned earlier, the importance of getting a home inspection survey cannot be overlooked. It is vital to stress that this is not the same as the lender’s valuation. When the mortgage lender carries out a valuation, they are only checking to determine if the property is adequate value for the loan in question. You need to pay for your own survey to find out if anything is wrong with the property.
Overlooking your credit report – Last but not least, it is critical to keep an eye on your credit report before you start searching for your home. If your credit score is bad, there is no point in applying for a mortgage now. You should improve your credit rating first. There are a number of ways you can do this, from ensuring all personal information is correct to paying off your credit cards.

No comments:

Post a Comment