6 Common Mistakes in House Hunting and How to Avoid Them
After years of apartment living, you’re looking to move on up. That’s right: you’re going to buy a home. However, before you get started, you want to study up a bit to ensure that you’re not making any big mistakes.
That’s where this article comes in. Without further ado, here are 6 common mistakes in house hunting and how to avoid them.
- 1 1. Failing to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before Searching
- 2 2. Having No Idea What Type of House You Want
- 3 3. Heeding to the Preferences of Those Who Aren’t Going to Live in the House
- 4 4. Not Taking Open Houses Seriously
- 5 5. Being Tricked by the Superficial
- 6 6. Overlooking the Situational Aspects of the Home
- 7 You Will Make Mistakes in House Hunting
- 8 Author
1. Failing to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before Searching
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when hunting for houses is to do so without first having been preapproved for a mortgage. Mortgage preapproval is vital, as it designates you as a serious buyer. If you don’t have preapproval, sellers won’t take you as seriously.
What is mortgage preapproval, you as? It’s when a lender verifies you as being able to secure a mortgage in the future. It comes with a budget range, thus proving to sellers that you’re, indeed, able to make the purchase when the time comes.
How do you get preapproved for a mortgage? By filling out an application with a mortgage lender. This could be your rank, a credit union, or some other type of lending service.
2. Having No Idea What Type of House You Want
Another common mistake when house hunting is having no idea what type of house you want. By going into the search without any specifications, you’re going to have a hard time zeroing in on any particular house. Instead, you’ll perpetually be trying to decide between different options for houses.
So, before you get out there and start searching, sit down and assess your needs. How many bedrooms would you like? How big of a yard would you like? What are your square footage requirements? Do you need a garage?
Once you’ve made a list of necessary criteria, you can plug them into a house browsing tool and see what’s available to you. This way, you won’t waste any time on houses that aren’t in your wheelhouse.
To help you establish what you want, check out The Realest Estate.
3. Heeding to the Preferences of Those Who Aren’t Going to Live in the House
Everyone has an opinion. But unless that opinion is yours, or unless it’s coming from some sort of expert (like an electrician, for instance), it shouldn’t have any effect on which house you choose. In other words, you should ignore the preferences of those who aren’t going to live in your house with you.
Your mother-in-law thinks you should buy a house with an extra room? Don’t do it unless you really want to.
Does your sister think you should buy a house with a pool? Again, only if it’s your preference to do so.
Remember: you’re the one that has to live with this stuff. As such, you’re also the one who has to take care of it. For this reason, you should only purchase in a house what you want to purchase.
4. Not Taking Open Houses Seriously
An open house is not just a cursory viewing of the house that you’re considering. An open house should be an in-depth look at the home. It should involve everything from checking inside cabinets to testing outlets to using faucets and more.
Consider the open house your opportunity to inspect the house. It should give you a reasonably good idea as to what the home has to provide. It shouldn’t just be a slight glance at the home’s superficial components.
Your real estate agent can guide you on what to look for when you’re in the midst of an open house. But, most importantly, you should ensure that the home is functional.
5. Being Tricked by the Superficial
Oftentimes, when someone is selling their house, they’ll make updates to the visual components so as to make the house look as impressive as possible. This can help the house sell at a higher price, giving the seller a higher return in the end.
Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s only the superficial components that are updated. The underlying components, such as the plumbing and the electrical system, often don’t receive an update. As such, while the house might look great, it might not perform to the capability that you believe it does.
So, the point is: don’t be tricked by the superficial. Keep an eye not only on the visual components but on the operational components also.
6. Overlooking the Situational Aspects of the Home
Another mistake that home buyers often make is overlooking the situational aspects of the home. These include things such as the school district it’s in, the neighborhood it’s in, whether it’s close to important stores, and the like. Make sure to assess whether these things matter to you before embarking on your house search.
Do you like peace and quiet? Then, you might not want to choose a house that’s in a neighborhood full of kids.
Do you have children of your own? If so, you had better make sure it’s in a decent school district.
Are you okay driving 20 minutes to the grocery store? No? Then, don’t live in an uber-rural area.
These things matter just as much as the home itself. Sure, a mansion is nice. But if it’s in the middle of Death Valley, it’s not going to serve you much purpose.
You Will Make Mistakes in House Hunting
There’s no doubt about it: you will make mistakes in house hunting. However, by realizing the most common mistakes and by making the effort to avoid them, you can facilitate a fairly effective house hunting strategy.
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