Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but you can easily find yourself making some of the common buyer mistakes if you’re not prepared.
Here’s a look at three common buyer mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Spending More than You Can Afford
Before you even start looking at houses, examine your budget closely. Figure out how much you can comfortably pay on a mortgage every month. Most lenders will approve you for mortgage amounts much higher than you can easily afford, and there’s nothing worse than being house poor.
A general rule of thumb is that your housing payment should be no more than 25% of your monthly income. Remember that buying your first house comes with additional expenses, too. The down payment, the cost of furnishing a new place, mortgage insurance, and taxes are just a start to the costs of home-ownership. Buying a house in your price range can significantly reduce the stress of buying a new home.
2. Not Getting a Home Inspection
Many first time buyers make the mistake of skipping a home inspection. Sure, the inspection costs a few hundred dollars upfront. However, it’s well worth it for the peace of mind that the house you are buying is sound and holds no hidden surprises.
Professional inspectors are trained to look for things in homes that the average buyer wouldn’t know to check for. They often catch issues with the roof, HVAC system, and more that could be costly if discovered after the sale is complete. Catching it early on in the process means you can ask the seller to pay to have it repaired.
3. Failing to Prepare for the Mortgage Process
Obtaining a mortgage is far more involved than a prequalification for a loan. There’s extensive paperwork involved, and if you fail to provide the required documentation, the mortgage could fall through. Your lender will give you specifics of what documents they require, but here’s a general idea of what mortgage documents you’ll need:
- Income verification: W2’s, pay stubs, and income tax returns for the last 2-3 years
- Asset verification: bank statements, statements from investment accounts, etc.
- Credit report: the lender will ask your permission to run your credit
- Mortgage application
- Other records depending on the situation: rent payment records, divorce decree, alimony records, etc.
Failing to prepare these documents ahead of time can be a nightmare when buying a home, and it’s one of the most common first-time buyer mistakes. Start gathering documentation as soon as you begin your home search so that your home buying process will go smoothly.
Ready to Own Your First Home? Buy with HoneyHomb!
Whether you’re ready to buy your first home or your tenth, HoneyHomb is here. We offer buyer assistance and representation to help our clients avoid common buyer mistakes. When you buy with us, you’ll get a rebate to help with closing costs as well as step-by-step assistance through the whole process. We serve clients in Salt Lake City, Sandy, and the Greater Wasatch Front in Utah. Call our experts today!