Watch Out for These Common First Time Buyer Regrets

Watch Out for These Common First Time Buyer RegretsBuying your first home is a significant milestone, and it’s natural to feel both excited and anxious about the process. By being aware of common first-time home buyer regrets and taking proactive steps to avoid them, you can make more informed decisions and enjoy a smoother, more satisfying home buying experience.

These are some of the common regrets we see among buyers, and our tips to avoid experience them yourself. 

Underestimating Total Costs

Many first-time buyers focus solely on the purchase price of the home and overlook other significant costs. These can include closing costs, property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance, and unexpected repairs. Unfortunately, this avoidable oversight can lead to financial strain and regret.

To avoid this, create a comprehensive budget that includes all potential expenses. Consult with your financial advisor and/or lender to get a clear understanding of the total cost of homeownership. We can also help to ensure that you understand all the costs associated with the purchase so you can avoid unpleasant surprises. Setting aside an emergency fund for unexpected repairs and maintenance is also crucial.

Skipping the Pre-Approval Process

Some first-time buyers want to look for homes without securing mortgage pre-approval. This can lead to disappointment if they cannot obtain the necessary financing, or it can delay the buying process, causing them to miss out on their desired property.

The good news is, this is easy to fix! Make sure to secure your pre-approval before you begin house hunting. This will ensure that you are ready to make offers as soon as you find the right property, knowing for sure what your budget is. The best way to make confident and efficient decisions in real estate is to know you have pre-approval in hand.

Ignoring the Community Around the Home

The excitement of finding a beautiful home can sometimes overshadow the importance of its location. First-time buyers might end up in an area that doesn’t suit their lifestyle or is too far from work, schools, or amenities.

According to home sales expert Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure, first time buyers often regret their purchase.

"One of the most common mistakes I see first timers making is putting too much focus on the house and not enough on the community. It has become more prevalent in recent years due to the extreme seller's market. Buyers are forced to make quick decisions and can later have second thoughts about their decision.

Long term planning and careful research become essential. If you lose out on a bidding war, it is the perfect opportunity to dig into the area before you bid on the next house. Buyers should always focus on their long-term goals. For example, if you plan on having children soon you may want to consider buying in a town with an excellent school system.

Proper due diligence goes a long way towards making better buying choices."

In other words, considering the community the home is in, not just the home itself, is essential to avoid frustrating buyer's remorse.

Skipping the Home Inspection

Some buyers, eager to close the deal, might skip the home inspection. This can result in unexpected and costly repairs down the line, leading to buyer’s remorse. While it may seem easier to just close on a house without paying close attention to its condition, kicking the proverbial can down the road with any repairs, you may end up deeply regretting that choice. 

Instead, try to keep an open mind until you've seen the inspection report (and we always recommend including an inspection contingency in your offer so you can back out if you need to). A professional inspector can identify potential issues that you might not notice. We will help you use the inspection report to negotiate repairs or a lower purchase price if necessary.

Not Comparing Mortgage Options

Many first time buyers make the mistake of assuming that all lenders are going to offer just about the same thing. First-time buyers may go with the first mortgage offer they receive without shopping around. This can lead to higher interest rates and unfavorable terms, costing them more in the long run.

In fact, you may find drastically different terms among different lenders. Compare mortgage rates and terms from multiple lenders and consider working with a mortgage broker who can help you find the best deal. Look at different types of loans to choose the one that best suits your financial situation.

One of the smartest things you can do is choose to work with a realtor that has years of proven expertise in the market you are house hunting in. If you're looking for homes for sale in Columbus, we can help. Contact us any time to get started on the search for your first home. 

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