Common Mistakes Made by First Time Homebuyers

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So, you're ready to buy a home. How do you proceed? Learn what to look for before you sign on the dotted line.
Buying your first home |

Rushing into it

Don't hurry the process. The best time of the year to buy a house is during the months when hardly anyone wants to move. For the northeast and the northwest, it's the winter months; for the southeast and southwest, it's the summer months; and for Hawaii, it's the rainiest months. Regardless, real estate sales slow down in the winter months for the entire U.S.

TIP: If you're looking for a deal from sellers ready to take lower offers, then wait until the home has been on the market for months.

Buying a fixer upper

Unless you are a handy person (most first time home buyers are not), or you have a lot of free time (most people do not), then you probably should avoid a home that needs a lot of repair or improvement. You are better off purchasing a house that is move-in ready.

TIP: Add the costs of improving the property to the offer you think the seller will accept. Compare that property's total cost to other homes on the market in better condition.

Waiting too long to make an offer

Don't enter the buying process until you are ready to make a quick offer on a home that fits all your needs and budget. Dragging your feet leads to missed opportunities and unnecessary frustrations; you are likely to give up and continue renting.

TIP: Cash is king, so brace yourself to lose a home when another buyer offers an all-cash deal. It's not personal, it's business.

Buying a house without a realtor

Using a real estate agent doesn't cost you anything (the seller is paying the commissions). So, don't think twice about working with an agent in your local area who is a member of the National Association of Realtors — get a referral from your family or friends to save time during the selection process.

TIP: A real estate agent is a source of knowledge which helps make the buying experience less stressful.

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DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your accountant, attorney and financial advisor before implementing any tips displayed on this website. DIY research does not replace the advice of a licensed professional who has thoroughly reviewed your file.