Buying your first home can feel overwhelming, so here are the five most common mistakes made by first-time homebuyers. Keeping these things in mind as you move through the homebuying journey will help you avoid major pitfalls to find the perfect home!
Avoid these mistakes:
- Looking at houses before you start shopping for a mortgage.
Getting the financial piece of your puzzle figured out first means knowing how much house you can afford, getting pre-approved so your offer is competitive, and shopping around to compare rates so you get the best deal.
- Not making the right down payment for you.
Think you need a 20% down payment? Not necessarily. Think it’s the right move to only put 3% down? Maybe, but not always. Talk to your mortgage lender to figure out what works best with your current (and future) financial circumstances.
- Not researching first-time home buyer programs.
There are several federal, state, and local down payment assistance programs for first-time home buyers to help make home ownership possible. Work with your realtor to figure out which programs to investigate.
- Emptying your savings.
From inspections and property taxes to unforeseen maintenance costs, it’s a bad idea to leave yourself without a comfortable cushion as you transition from renting to owning.
- Focusing on the house and forgetting the neighborhood.
Your home is an investment, so consider more than just the square footage when deciding. Consider things like walkability, school districts, crime rates, and access to highways when you’re making your decision.