January 17th, 2012 10:33 AM by Jodie Ford
5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes
Ready to buy a home near Joint Base Charleston, SC? Shopping for a home is exciting, exhausting and a little bit scary. In the end, your aim is to end up with a home you love at a price you can afford. Unfortunately, many military home buyers make mistakes that are preventable. Arm yourself with these tips to get the most out of your purchase and avoid making 10 of the most costly mistakes that could jeopardize your dream of homeownership.
1. Skipping the Pre-Approval Process
If you end up looking at homes that are outside your price range, you'll end up lusting after something you can't afford, which can put you in the dangerous position of trying to stretch beyond your means financially or cause you to feel unsatisfied with what you actually can afford. You may even learn that you can't afford the type or size of home that you desire and that you need to work on reducing your monthly expenses and/or increasing your income before you even start looking.
The first step to buying a new home is to contact a mortgage expert. Your lender can help you determine how much home you can qualify for, as well as how much home you can actually afford. Keep in mind that these two ideas are often very different. The amount of money a bank will allow you to borrow may not be the amount of money you are comfortable spending on a home.
REMEMBER: YOU determine how much YOU can afford.
Most homeowners will not even allow their home to be shown to potential buyers without a pre-approval letter from a lender. This is the first and most important step in the home-buying process.
2. Lacking Vision
Even if you can't afford to replace the hideous wallpaper in the bathroom now, it might be worth it to live with the ugliness for a while in exchange for getting into a home you can afford. If the home otherwise meets your needs in terms of the big things that are difficult to change, such as location and size, don't let physical imperfections turn you away. Besides, doing home upgrades yourself, even when you have to hire a contractor, is often cheaper than paying the increased home value to a seller who has already done the work for you.
3. Neglecting to InspectIt is tempting to think that you're a homeowner the moment you go under contract, but not so fast - before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of shape the house is in. You don't want to get stuck with a money pit or with the headache of performing a lot of unexpected repairs. Keeping your feelings in check until you have a full picture of the house's physical condition and the soundness of your potential investment will help you avoid making a serious mistake. Your REALTOR® can help you find a reputable, licensed, home inspector and guide you through the home inspection process.
4. Not Choosing to Use an Agent or WORSE - Using the Seller's AgentOnce you're seriously shopping for a home, don't walk into an open house without having a licensed REALTOR® in your corner. Agents are held to the rule that they must act in the best interest of THEIR client. You can see how that will not work in your best interest if you start dealing with the SELLER’S agent before contacting one of your own. REMEMBER: The seller’s agent is working in the best interest of the seller - not you. GET YOUR OWN AGENT.
5. Not Thinking About the Future It's impossible to perfectly predict the future of your chosen Joint Base Charleston neighborhood, but paying attention to the information that is available to you now can help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.Some questions you should ask about your prospective property include:
· What kind of development plans are in the works for your neighborhood in the future?
· Is your street likely to become a major street or a popular rush-hour shortcut?
· Will a highway be built in your backyard in five years?
· What are the zoning laws in your area?
· If there is a lot of undeveloped land? What is likely to get built there?
· Have home values in the neighborhood been declining?
Your licensed REALTOR ® can help you find the answers to these questions. If you're happy with the answers, then you’re ready to buy!
For more information please visit:
Jodie Ford - Military Homes Charleston, SC Real Estate For SaleI specialize in helping military families enjoy a smooth PCS in and out of Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. I have a passion for helping people, and I love what I do. Call me (843) 819-4398 and let me make this the easiest PCS yet!
Torri Jacobsen - Military Homes Charleston, SC Real Estate For SaleBuying or selling a home doesn’t have to be hard, but choosing the right Realtor DOES make a difference. I specialize in making first-time home buying a great experience for military families moving to the Charleston, SC area. Call (843-819-4398) or email today, and let’s make this your best move yet! You’ll feel right at home with me.