Many home buyers do very little research before “diving in” and investing their hard-earned money. Before doing that, doesn’t it make sense to be as informed as possible? That’s what this report is all about. It’s designed to help you avoid 10 common, critical mistakes many home buyers make. If you follow these 10 suggestions, with the help of the right real estate professional, you’ll make a good sound business decision that you’ll be happy and proud of for years to come.
1. Inspect, Inspect and Inspect – Go over the inspection report with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the report was done by a professional organization. For condo purchases, go over the by-laws, and strata fees. Don’t take anything for granted… inspect everything!
2. Imagine the Property Vacant – Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture … it leaves with the owner.
3. Income Plus Lifestyle Equals Mortgage Payment – Sit down with a competent real estate professional and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations like: children, add-ons, amenities or fix-ups. Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice but don’t mortgage your entire future.
4. View Several Homes – See at least 3-5 properties. Don’t move on the first property you see but… don’t move too slowly either. With your agent’s help, you’ll be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of your market. And when you find the right property, all the leg work will be worth it.
5. Utilize Your Team – By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you’ll have an entire team working for you. Top real estate professionals have lenders, lawyers and inspection teams – an entire group of trained professionals to make the whole buying experience simple and easy for you.
6. Be Columbo – Check out all your costs and expenses before you sign: utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and homeowner dues, if applicable. Make sure all utilities are on (gas, electricity, and water), so you can inspect everything in working order. Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious.
7. Do a Final Walk-Through – Visit the property after all the furnishings have been moved out to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract. Many times, things are unintentionally overlooked that could have been spotted in a final walk-through.
8. Plan For Flexibility – Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction.
9. If It’s Not In Writing, It Doesn’t Exist – All promises and discussions are to be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your real estate professional keep an ongoing log (in writing) of all discussions, and get the seller’s written approval for all agreements.
10. Loyalty Breeds Loyalty – Be open, honest and up-front with your team. Hard feelings and disloyalty will cause headaches, delays, or may even keep you from getting into the home you worked so hard to locate. Take the time to select the right team in the beginning and your first home purchase will be a simple, easy and profitable experience you’ll have fond memories of… for years to come.
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