Hah! I love to travel overseas alone. I love to explore on my own. Really.
Yup safari too. And, true story,....I rarely see in some guide book something I missed but I see lots of things that guide books miss!!!! But this is only one person's style. How great we are all different in the way we explore!
But I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU, even if a first time homebuyer loves exploring on their own, they need a good agent or real estate attorney to guide them through the intricacies of negotiation and closing.
I think one mistake first-time homebuyers make is not finding an agent who specializes in first time homebuyers.
I think these kind of agents are amazing and worth their weight in gold. They set first-time buyers up for a lifetime of informed real estate decisions and sometimes create realy good R E investors in the process.
So, I agree with Mack, when you're buying your first home, you can't afford to find out, "Gee, we missed that."
I would add my own personal one that is not on the list, which is NOT buying now while interest rates and prices are low and the selection is high. Do not try to buy at the bottom of the market, nobody knows when that is until it's over. Who knows what interest rates will be then.
1. Buying what you want, not what you need.
2. Overlooking the extra and hidden costs.
3. Buying without a professional inspection.
4. Falling in love with the first property you see.
5. Skipping the loan pre-approval step.
6. Not being pro-active at closing.
7. Visiting the house only once.
8. Not setting a realistic budget.
9. Buying the most expensive house on the block.
10. Trusting everything the real estate advertisment says.
11. Buying without actually seeing the property.
12. Not thinking about resale.
13. Losing money with auctions.
14. Not researching the neighborhood.
15. Buying a house for it's decor.
Using a great buyers agent will help you avoid these mistakes.
So I would say, that before buying a house - buyer should use some real estate investment software and run the numbers on various properties, to compare them and choose the same was as an investor would choose.
I am using this free app: http://www.RealEstateAnalysisFREE.com for my real estate analysis, when researching potential investment properties.
1.Not knowing how much house you can afford.
2. Assuming foreclosures are great deals.
3. Failing to find a good buyer's agent.
4.Underestimating the costs of owning a home.
5. Failing to budget for property taxes.
6. Assuming your first offer will get accepted.
7. Skipping the inspection.
8. Doing too much too fast...(don't make any large purchases that could affect financing!)
9. Not using a Realtor and trying to buy on your own.
10. Forget to set aside funds for emergency repairs.
11. Rely on what everyone else says without doing any research on their own...(lenders, insurance, neighborhoods, how much house to buy, etc.)
Are you a first time home buyer? Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path.
1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.
2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.
3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.
4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com - http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/
5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.
6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.
7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.
Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL firstname.lastname@example.org
As you are the expert on lending and most Realtors know our clients should see you first, I'm going to answer your question as it pertains to actually buying a home.
I recently wrote about the Top 5 Mistakes Intelligent Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them. I believe these same errors pertain to first timers' as well.
Mistake #1 â€“ Making a low-ball offer to see how low a seller will go.
This never works. Let me repeat myself, low-ball offers never work. Going around town making low-ball offers only upsets sellers and eventually you become know as, â€œthat guy who makes low-ball offers on everything in town.â€ Donâ€™t get me wrong, this is a buyerâ€™s market and you can and should make offers lower than the asking price that may be considered by the seller. To avoid going too low, study the recent comparable sales in the last 3 months (six if nothing much has sold) along with the average percentage below (or above) asking price that most homes are selling for in that neighborhood. This percentage is available to your Realtor through the local MLS. Remember low-ball offers just piss off the seller and are usually not even countered.
Mistake #2 â€“ Thinking foreclosures or short sales are better deals and ignoring standard sales.
Standard real estate sales, the ones that are not distressed sales, can often be the best deals in a community. The short sale you may think is so great may not be. After six months of waiting the bank could come back with a higher price than a standard home is priced right now. Also, a foreclosure being sold â€œas-isâ€ may have significant repair damage to make it livable. These costs could bring your great foreclosure deal to a higher overall price than the standard home for sale next door. Weigh all your options before proceeding.
Mistake #3 â€“ Saying too much to the seller. (Scott put this well below)
When we take a buyer to a home we always try to make sure the seller is not home. Often a buyer will think they are helping their future negotiations by spouting off to the seller about all the things they will need to fix before they can â€œliveâ€ in this home. This only offends the seller and makes them less likely to ever want to sell the home to such a rude buyer. If items in the home need to be updated or replaced this can be relayed in a tactful way between Realtors. Respect a persons home as you would want yours respected.
Mistake #4 â€“ Missing hidden defects before closing.
This is one of the most expensive mistakes any homebuyers can make. Every home should be professionally inspected regardless of whether itâ€™s sold as-is or itâ€™s brand new. At White Sands Realty, we recommend to our Naples home buyers that they have the major home inspection done by a professional like House Master as well as extra inspections like mold, radon, pool equipment and termite. $350 to $900 in inspection costs is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands our buyers have saved in future repairs and headaches. Inspections are not something any home buyer should skimp on.
Mistake #5 â€“ Wanting a â€œgreat dealâ€ but falling in love with one home.
Every buyer today wants that one-in-a-million deal on a home. Itâ€™s a buyerâ€™s market and why not? The mistake made is not that you want a great deal, itâ€™s that you have to be open to offering on 2 or 3 homes before you get that really great deal. Falling in love emotionally with a single home makes you depressed and leaves you with nothing when your offer is rejected. Instead, we recommend narrowing your search to three homes that youâ€™ll love if you get that great deal. If the first one doesnâ€™t work out, then you have plan b and c to fall back on. This prevents you from busting your budget and takes some of the emotion out of the purchase.
The home purchase process, in most cases begins many years prior to making the decision........an concept that many cannot grasp!
Buying a house right is an art form. I've done plenty of them for myself in my life before I did this for others. It's all about strategy, timing and information. If I have clients that are complementing every home we walk into (out loud with smiles), time for me to have a talk with them again. Buying a house is a business transaction and should be treated this way or you wind up overpaying. Never fall in love with a home. There's always another deal right around the corner.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
Ever travel? Are you the kind of person that likes to go overseas, and explore on your own? Really? Ready for a safari without a guide? Forget the wild, what about the cities - ever do a few days someplace, come home, look through the guidebook, and say, gee - we missed that?
When you're buying your first home, you can't afford to find out, "Gee, we missed that."
Get a guide.
Please see my blog for tips on obtaining a mortgage in todays market.