Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming. Your real estate agent uses all these words that don’t mean anything in normal-people English, then there is all the banker speak that is confusing, plus all the decisions you encounter along the way.
We’ve all been there, and for us at By The Bay Realty and Auction, we see the struggle first-time homebuyers face on a daily basis. Helping people buy a house for the first time is part of our job as real estate agents, and that’s why we’ve come up with our list of first time home buying mistakes you should avoid.
Make a list of what you want and what you must have
You’ll learn pretty quickly that everything but the view is negotiable in real estate. This also means that sometimes you have to compromise. There is a difference in what we want in a home and what we must have. The “want” parts of a house are where we usually have to compromise. Homebuyers who don’t know what they want in a house spend a lot of wasted time in the home search phase.
No house is perfect, even new construction. That’s why a list is important. It helps you, and us as your guides, establish your priorities. For example, if you have school-age children, school districts might be important, so that will narrow down the location choices.
What else is on the list? That’s ultimately up to you. Generally speaking, a must-have list includes location, square feet, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and specifics about a floor plan. Some people have to have a garage, or a storage closet, while others don’t care about either.
Don’t wait until you find a house to talk to a banker
The mortgage side of buying a house can take a long time, especially for first-time homebuyers. The mountains of paperwork required by underwriters can take weeks to assemble and process. Especially if you have multiple bank accounts or credit blemishes.
We always recommend you get started with a lender before you begin looking for a house. If you can get a pre-approval letter in hand, even better. One of the top reasons real estate deals fall through is financing. A seller will be much more likely to accept your offer if they know you have backing from a bank.
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you
We see emotions play a huge role in buying a house all the time. You might be surprised at the highs and lows associated with the home buying experience. Feelings are sneaky, and you never know when they’re going to show up.
Here’s an example: The seller thinks their house is worth more than what you’re willing to pay, so they get their feelings hurt when you make an offer. They reject your offer. Now you’re disappointed and upset because you really like the house, but think the price is too high.
Keep in mind that we’re here to help. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, avoid these and other mistakes by consulting with an expert. Call us at (715) 682-7337, or stop by and see us at 112 Vaughn Ave, Ashland, Wisconsin 54806.