If you have ever gone through the torturous process that is house hunting and looking for a mortgage, you will be aware that there are a myriad of pitfalls just waiting to ensnare the first time buyer.
Having been through this ordeal myself, I am now older and wiser and can list some of the most common mistakes to make when it comes to buying your home.
Learn from someone else’s mistakes first, before making your own!
NOT USING PROTECTION
A bit like sexual intercourse, buying a house needs a degree of protection!
You could stand to be burned big time by not taking precautions such as getting an inspection or having a contingency clause.
An inspection is important because all that glitters is not gold. A house that looks perfect on the outside could still have subsidence, damp or a whole host of hidden problems.
A housing inspection is the best way to make sure of what you are buying, from the off.
Likewise, a contingency clause will offer you a degree of protection against changes of fortune, such as losing your job or the loan deal falling through. It could ensure that you get back your initial deposit or are not obliged to buy a house you can no longer afford.
EXPECTING TO MAKE LOTS OF MONEY QUICKLY
We have all seen the property makeover programs on TV and heard about people making thousands on the value of their homes.
But, the thing is, this cannot be guaranteed!
It is important to remember that house prices can go down as well as up and that maintenance needs to be regularly undertaken, in order to protect the investment in your home.
You might not realize this, but when you go and see a house you are being interviewed by its’ owners and their agent.
If you come across as negative by the broker who shows you around, they may simply prefer to sell the home to someone else who radiated joy about it.
This does not mean don’t ask questions, but not to mention every time the owner’s décor ideas clash with your own.
BELIEVING EVERYTHING A REAL ESTATE WEBSITE SAYS
The unfortunate fact is that Realtors and real estate agents do not tell the whole truth when it comes to either the price or other details about their properties.
You need to be prepared to do your own research into what a district is like and check out how much neighboring or similar properties have sold for recently.
NOT TALKING TO REAL LIFE LOAN ADVISORS
Getting online information and quotes is great, as a first step. But to find out the full facts about what sort of mortgage you are likely to end up with, it is far preferable to meet and speak with a loan advisor face to face.
As someone who has had personal experience of being turned down for a home loan because of the size of their debt, I can advise you it is best to shrink any personal loans you already have down to the bare minimum, before even considering taking on a mortgage.
Don’t try and overstretch yourself. If this means a smaller car or restricting your credit card outgoings, then this is the way to go.
NOT CONSIDERING RENTING
Before you even start looking for a place of your own, what about the place you are already in?
If you are a young person at the start of your career, it is likely you will be moving on in a year or two. This means you might be looking to move again shortly.
Are you sure you are going to stay in this home for long enough for it to be worth the hassle of buying it?