If you plan on buying your first home, it’s worth doing it right. Purchasing a property is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your life, and a little due diligence can help you avoid getting a lemon or paying too much for your home. The most commonly made mistakes can be averted if you just know what to look for.
Jumping Into a Purchase Too Early
Unless you’re fabulously wealthy, chances are that you’re going to need to look at DC mortgages to finance your home. But the rate of your mortgage can vary wildly depending on your circumstances. One of the most important factors is your credit score, and since the rate of your mortgage could be setting what you pay for years to come, it’s sometimes prudent to wait until your credit score rises before taking the plunge. Just keep in mind that your lender is likely to check your credit score just before closing, so don’t go taking out extra loans or running up credit cards until everything’s signed.
Not Accounting For Extenuating Costs
While your mortgage broker can set you up with a reasonable mortgage banker in DC, the cost of your mortgage isn’t the only thing to consider. Renting a property tends to be an all-inclusive deal, but owning a home comes with its own responsibilities. With the increased size of your property comes increased costs for utilities, and it’s essential that you set aside a nest egg to deal with emergency maintenance and repairs. Property taxes also need to be carefully considered. Before deciding on a home, sit down and put together a precise budget, then leave a little extra in case the worst happens.
Doing Everything Yourself
The process of buying a home is a complicated affair, and that’s why there are so many professionals to help out. Surrounding yourself with specialists may cost a little more upfront, but it can help make sure you get the home you really want and don’t end up paying out the nose over the course of years or decades. Enlisting the services of an agent is essential, while a broker can help connect you with the best Washington DC mortgage lenders.
Not Keeping Realistic Expectations
We all have the dream of our perfect mansion, but your first home is unlikely to check off all the boxes you have assigned in your head. Before you get your expectations set too high, you’re going to want to understand the terms you’re working with. Working with a mortgage broker allows you to navigate the world of residential lending and understand what sort of financial parameters you’ll be working with. They can also help you understand all the steps of the process. Once you have a reasonable knowledge of the sort of loan you can get, the down payment you can expect, and the cost of you mortgage, you can narrow down your home buying options and get a reasonable understanding of what you can afford. Just be sure to leave a financial buffer in place.
Not Being Thorough During the House Hunt
Your house is your castle, and there’s little point in buying a new home without understanding exactly what you’re getting. Even the most thorough collection of photos can’t do a property justice. They can hide flaws in the structure, and you can’t understand what it feels like to actually occupy the space until you’ve stepped foot inside of it. Going in person is a necessity, as it will give you a first-hand look at the home itself as well as a feel for the neighborhood and nearby facilities. Being methodical in your house hunting process is important, but there’s something to be said for what feels right. But dive deeper than a simple visit. Do some research on the neighborhood, drive around, and gather opinions from people who live in the area. Where you live is about more than just the house you live in. It’s about everything surrounding that house.
But being critical doesn’t have to mean being negative. Remember that you’re likely not the interested buyer. If the current homeowner has options in who they sell to, then some ugly comments on their design or maintenance choices could cause them to turn you down in favor of another buyer, and you want to maximize the options available to you even if something doesn’t strike your fancy at first blush.
Missing the Inspection and Walk-Through
So you’ve settled on a home you love, and you’re confident that everything meets your needs and fits comfortably within your budget. That doesn’t mean that everything is in proper order. Problems can lurk beneath the surface, and just because you aren’t aware of a major problem with the home’s maintenance or structural integrity doesn’t mean it won’t cost you months or years down the road. An inspection costs a little bit of money, but it’s worth the level of assurance it can provide. Be sure to ask any questions you have during the inspection, and don’t overlook any outstanding problems out of fear of your seller rescinding their offer. Lingering issues with the home can be a great point of negotiation before closing on the deal.
Just because you’ve witnessed the inspection, secured your loan, and signed up the paperwork for the sale doesn’t mean the job is done. A final walk-through is your last chance to make sure everything is in order. A lot can happen between your initial tour and closing, and you’re perfectly within your right to make sure there hasn’t been any damage done in the interim.
Losing Your Cool
There’s a lot to deal with when hunting for a home, and the process of securing loans can put a lot of pressure on you, but bad decisions are usually made in moments of high emotion. If you’re second guessing your deal or concerned that you aren’t thinking straight, take a step back, compose yourself, and come back to the issue when you have a clear head.
Let The Busch Team help you avoid any mistakes, and get you into the home of your dreams.