10 Deadly Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing A Home

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...
Picture of the "Gingerbread House" in Essex, Connecticut, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Protect yourself from these common pitfalls....

1. Making an offer on a home without being pre-qualified.
Pre-qualification will make your life easier, so take the time to speak with a lender. Their specific questions in regard to income, debt, family plans, job outlook etc. will help you determine the price range you can afford. It is an important step on the path to home ownership.

2. Not having a home inspection.
Trying to save money today can end up costing you tomorrow. A qualified home inspector will detect issues that many buyers can overlook.

3. Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the Internet.
Many homes listed in magazines or on the Internet have already been sold. Your best course of action is to contact a real estate professional. They have up-to-date information that is unavailable to the general public and are the best resource to help you find the home you want.

4. Choosing a real estate professional who is not committed to forming a strong business relationship with you.
Making a connection with the right real estate professional is crucial. Choose a professional who is dedicated to serving your needs - before, during and after the sale.

5. Thinking there is only one perfect house out there.
Buying a home is a process of elimination, not selection. New properties arrive on the market daily, so be open to all possibilities. Ask your real estate professional for a comparative market analysis. This compares similar homes that have recently sold, or are still for sale.

6. Not considering long term needs.
It's important to think ahead. Will the home suit your needs 3-5 years from now?

7. Not examining insurance issues.
Purchase adequate insurance. Advice from an insurance agent can provide you with answers to any concerns you may have. (If you're using a mortgage then you'll be required to get a policy, the $ are in the details.)

8. Not buying a home protection plan. This is essentially a mini insurance policy that usually lasts one year from the close of escrow. It usually covers basic repairs you may encounter and can be purchased for a nominal fee. Talk to your agent to help you find the protection plan you need. Typically you'll be using alot of your savings with the purchase, moving and preparing the home to your likes, a heavy duty repair issue could really sting when you can least afford it. Many plans have low deductibles when compared to the cost of the repair in full.

9. Not knowing total costs involved.
Early in the buying process, ask your lender for an estimate of closing costs, attorney fees, title work etc. It's actually required by law to disclose but know to ask. Pre-paid responsibilities such as homeowner association fees and insurance/tax/utility bills must also be taken into account. Remember to examine your settlement statement prior to closing.

10. Not following through on due diligence.
Buyers should make a list of any concerns they have relating to issues such as; crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbors, environmental conditions, local sex offenders etc. Ask the important questions BEFORE you make an  offer on a home. Be diligent so that you can have confidence in your purchase.
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