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5 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes to Avoid

mistakes

Avoid These 5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

According to the dictionary, a mistake is an error resulting from deficient knowledge or carelessness. While we can’t do anything about carelessness, when it comes to counseling first-time homebuyers, the real estate agent is a tremendous resource to help overcome knowledge deficiency.

That homebuyers lack knowledge about the process only makes sense when you understand that shopping for a home may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some. Certainly, it’s not something most Americans do frequently. The process is foreign and the pitfalls are hidden. This is why it’s so important to find the right real estate agent to assist you along the way.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes.

Mistake 1: Not Being Clear About Money

Going into a home purchase with your eyes closed to your finances is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make during the process. Nobody likes unpleasant surprises, yet that’s what you open yourself up to when you are ignorant about where you stand financially.

If you are unsure about your credit-worthiness, order your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. By law, Americans are entitled to one free report from each bureau every 12 months. You can order your free reports at AnnualCreditReport.com, the only authorized website, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Look for errors on the reports and dispute any erroneous information. Pay off what you can to help lower your debt-to-income ratio.

Then, see a lender to determine exactly how much you can borrow for a home.

Finally, when you have that figure, don’t be tempted to shop for homes priced at the limit. Give your post-purchase budget some monthly wiggle room by purchasing at the middle of the price range, or a bit more.

Mistake 2: Not Being Clear About Your Wants and Needs

While you may not get everything on a wish list, it’s a good idea to compile one – especially if more than one person will be living in the home.

Understand that your wish list isn’t set in stone and you can plan on it changing once you start viewing homes. During the home-shopping process, you will get a better idea of which items are feasible with your budget and which will have to be struck from the list. Knowing what you want and need in a home is vital to your long-term satisfaction, so it’s worth the time it takes to sit down and make a list.

Don’t neglect the neighborhood wish list either. Do you need to be close to public transportation? If you’d like a family neighborhood with lots of kids for yours to play with, put that on the list.

The bonus to getting clear on your wants and needs is that when you share the list with your real estate agent, your time won’t be wasted by viewing homes that don’t fit your criteria.

Mistake 3: Not Reading the HOA Documents

If the home you decide to make an offer on is managed by a homeowners association, you’ll be presented with a stack of paperwork to read over and approve. These are the HOA documents and, although terribly boring, they hold a wealth of valuable information that you must be privy to before making the final decision to purchase the property.

These documents govern how you can use your home, and they give you an idea of how much and how often your fees might rise. You’ll learn about common and ongoing problems the association deals with and how financially solvent the association is.

Don’t be like the couple that purchased a condo without reading the HOA documents and found out, three days after closing, that they – along with all the other homeowners – were being assessed $7,500 to remedy construction defects.

If you don’t feel that you can read and understand the information in these documents, it’s important to hire an attorney to help you wade through them.

Mistake 4: Making Big Changes

The best part of the home-purchase process is that point during the transaction when inspections are complete, all the contingencies have been removed, and it feels like smooth sailing to the close.

Unfortunately, this is a danger zone for rookie homebuyers. This is typically when they start picturing themselves actually living in the home and the urge may be overwhelming to shop for furniture, appliances and other big-ticket items.

Just before closing, many lenders perform what is known as a “soft pull” of your credit reports. It’s called “soft” because it doesn’t impact your score in any way. It’s the lender’s way of making sure all the circumstances under which it approved the loan haven’t changed.

Any big changes you make, such as large purchases or getting a new job, may derail or delay the purchase. If the new debt you’ve taken on is substantial enough, it may change your debt-to-income ratio and you may be forced to reapply for the mortgage.

Keep your pocketbook closed and remain on your current job until you walk away from the closing table.

Mistake 5: Waiving the Home Inspection

Although foregoing a home inspection was unthinkable a few years ago, in a seller’s market where multiple offers are common, it’s tempting to agree to waive the home inspection as an incentive for the seller to pick your offer. It’s also not very wise.

A professional inspection, even of a newly constructed home, may be the only way you’ll know whether you’re buying a lemon or a plum – a money pit or a smart investment.

When you forego a professional home inspection, you’re essentially buying the home “as is.” Without the inspection contingency, the buyer waives his right to ask for repairs or money to make the repairs.

Waiving the home inspection is never worth the risk.

Knowing how much home you can afford is paramount to a successful home purchase. Making the decision to remain within a certain budget, doing all you can to clean up your credit to get the lowest interest rate possible, and becoming clear on your desires and expectations all help to make the home-buying process as error-free as possible.

Your Local Real estate Expert,

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Stephen Nissou,
Realtor ®

Nissou Realty Group   |   Keller Williams Realty
680 Fletcher Pkwy # 100
El Cajon, CA 92020
Direct 619-250-4541
Office 619-873-2772
E-mail: Stephen@StephenNissou.com
http://www.StephenNissou.com

 

 

 

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Discover La Jolla

La Jolla, also known as the jewel of San Diego, is a beautiful beach front city just a few minutes north of Downtown San Diego! From world-class shopping to one-of-a-kind dining, the sunshine sparkles year-round.

There’s always something going on in La Jolla. Whether it’s live entertainment at the La Valencia Hotel, or the PGA Golf tournament in Torrey Pines, or going to see the sea lions at the cove, there is always something to do when visiting La Jolla.

With five beaches to choose from, make La Jolla your one-stop shop for beachgoers. Visit Windansea Beach, where you can check out underwater reefs and fierce waves. This is a very secluded part of the beach, where admirers can watch experience surfers, or have a romantic picnic on the beach. Windansea Beach is located at the end of Nautilus Street.  For the kids, check out La Jolla Children’s Pool, with harbor seals! La Jolla Cove is always a fan-favorite for swimming, snorkeling and diving! La Jolla Shores is a long beach with soft sand, clean water, and gentle waves. Ideal for families, sunbathers, and beginner surfers.  Finally, there is controversial Black’s Beach located just north of the Scripps Pier. The north portion of the beach is clothing-optional. For the avid-hiker, check out Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and the La Jolla Walking Trail, with some of the best-hiking trails in all of San Diego.

La Jolla has over 25 eateries, serving anything from classic American, to seafood, to Mexican food and more!  And when you’re done eating, check out the shopping experience, that is “as unique as you.” La Jolla shopping attracts anyone, from bargain hunters to celebrities that have been known to shop the strip. Some of the most luxurious brands are located in La Jolla, along with everyday values. The best part about it is that you can browse with ease around a beautiful seaside village rather than a crowded and noisy mall.

And for San Diegans that are looking to go on a “Stay-cation”, there are a number of elegant coastal hotels to choose from.

For more information on La Jolla sites and attractions, as well as entertainment, check out www.lajollabythesea.com!

 

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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The Breakfast Club Never Gets Old

Looking for the perfect breakfast joint in San Diego? I’ve got the top 10 right here!



1) KONO’S CAFE: 704 Garnet Avenue, San Diego


2) CAFE 222: 222 Island Avenue, San Diego


3) RICHARD WALKERS PANCAKE HOUSE: 520 Front Street, San Diego


4) THE MISSION: 1250 J Street, San Diego


5) CAFE ON PARK: 3831 Park Blvd. San Diego


6) BIG KITCHEN CAFE: 3003 Grape Street, San Diego


7) THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE: 3906 Convoy Street, San Diego


8) BRIAN’S 24: 828 6th Avenue, San Diego


9) SNOOZE: 3940 5th Avenue, San Diego


10) HASH HOUSE A GO-GO: 3628 5th Avenue, San Diego


Have you tried any of these restaurants? What do you think of them? Post a comment and let me know what you think!



Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

 

Tax Refunds

Turn your income tax into a down payment on your new home! Spring is a great time to buy. Interest rates are still low and prices are perfect. I would love to show you how I can help make your dream come true. If you’re thinking of or are ready to buy a home, call or email me! 619-250-4541 or Stephen@StephenNissou.com! 

Tax Refund

 

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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