Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid.

Forbes shared the top seven home-buying mistakes you should avoid, and they are good items to know and not to do. This is an informative article!

1) Don’t buy a house if you are planning to move soon. If you may be moving in a few years, and you aren’t prepared to be a landlord (or don’t know if you will get enough rent to MORE than cover your mortgage, since you have to plan for repairs, potentially for a property management professional, possible hike in taxes or insurance…) then it may be a good idea for you to rent instead of buying.

2) Don’t make yourself house-poor. You still want to be able to live your life. Do you like to eat out? Go to Ravens games? Your best bet is to sit down with a mortgage professional to go over options. Find out how much you can afford — and then find out what you can REALLY afford. What you may be able to do “on paper” may not be in line with feasibility within your lifestyle. What is the point of owning a home if you can’t furnish it or enjoy it?

3) Don’t forget about additional costs. When you rent, the toilet overflowing is often the landlord’s responsibility. Same goes with the hot water heater, roof, furnace, property taxes, insurance, etc. Once you own a home, these items are all YOUR responsibility – both physically AND monetarily.

4) Don’t put the least amount of money down as a downpayment, if you have more. If you can put more down, you may be able to get better rates, not have private mortgage insurance, (which may be currently tax deductible but not guaranteed to be in the future,) and you may receive other perks. Also, if you are in a multiple contract situation where you are competing against other offers, more money down may appeal more to a seller than a smaller downpayment.

5) Don’t forget to get everything possible in writing. This includes items like window treatments, light fixtures, and the like. Many Maryland real estate sales contracts, when using forms through the Maryland Association of REALTORS(R) help to specify these items. There are things that should and could be specifically included or excluded in an area of the contract, to try to avoid discrepancies later.

6) Don’t skip inspections. Even if a house looks beautiful and perfect, inspections are almost always a good idea. Why? There may be things you can’t see, that the owner isn’t aware of, that you may be concerned with if you find out about them. Also, inspectors often may teach you about the house — like what size filter for your furnace, how often to change, where the water shut off valve is, and how much power you have coming into your house.

7) Don’t go overboard buying NEW stuff for your NEW home. Live in your house for awhile to see what you may need. Also, you may not want to buy items before you settle — you could affect your ability to get your loan! Talk to your loan officer prior to making ANY big purchases before you settle on your home. After you buy your home, live in it for a little while to see what you really need — and what you don’t!

For more details and information about buying a home in Baltimore, please contact me. I’d love to help!


Photo courtesy of nikcname via Flickr CC