When buying a first home, you see a ton of [mis-]information out there, not to mention hearing from well-meaning friends and family who do not realize that requirements and benefits change over time. Here are some pointers on avoiding common pitfalls:
Though it has decades since anyone needed 20% to buy their home, this myth persists. None of my clients over the last 13 years needed 20%. In almost all cases, we worked together to ensure that they could avoid a down payment altogether.
Checking everything twice
While I will actively point out drawbacks of a home, it is not realistic to believe that you will get every single thing you want from your first home. I always advise clients to make a list and then break it down into must-haves and nice-to-haves. Bring the list with you when looking at homes and check the home against you list starting with the must-haves.
Looking for a deal
Everyone wants a deal. Most people see this as being a fixer. I have written about this in past articles on 12/8/18 and 11/23/18 plus several other articles in this blog. Please use the search and type in fixer to see even more on this topic. The quick summary is: 1) You will overlook items that need repairs and 2) You will underestimate the cost of repairs.
You may be tempted to use your favorite website’s “valuation calculator” to see if the property you are considering is a good value for the money. You would be wrong to do so. Ask yourself, why does your lender hire a professional appraiser to value a proeprty? Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the lender to use the same “valuation calculator” to determine if the property is worth the loan? Could the lender make a bigger profit by charging you the same fee and doing it themselves on-line? The reason is simple: You have to see the home to properly appreciate it.
Fixating on price
As long as you are within your financing limit, you are much better off not obsessing over $5,000 or $10,000. At current interest rates, an additional $10,000 in price will add about $65 to your monthly payment. By next year, you won’t even be aware of the extra $65 expenditure simply because your monthly salary increase will exceed $65/month. This doesn’t even take into account your tax refund from owning a home.
If you have any other concerns regarding buying your first home, contact me at 760 622 5087 or firstname.lastname@example.org