Thinking of buying a home for the first time? You’re not alone. Approximately 32% of people searching the real estate market for homes for sale are first-time homebuyers.
And like any other major life decision, buying a house for the first time can be a daunting task with plenty of mistakes that can be made along the way.
To steer clear of some of these mistakes, take a look at these three most common slip-ups that first-time homebuyers make — along with easy ways to avoid them:
Focusing on the mortgage
If you can afford to make a house’s mortgage payment, you can afford to buy it, right? Not always. While a house’s mortgage rate is definitely important, there are additional costs that shouldn’t be ignored. Many first-time homebuyers overlook these expenses — including property insurance, taxes, maintenance, and utilities — when determining if they can afford to buy the house they’ve chosen. Make sure to include such expenses in your budget, and remember that things like property tax and insurance can increase from year to year.
Using your savings to make the down payment
If you’re buying a house, chances are you have a fair amount of money saved up toward your new purchase. However, don’t go spending all your savings on your down payment and closing costs just yet. While it might be tempting to make the 20% down payment to avoid paying mortgage insurance, it’s often not worth the risk.
Not enlisting a real estate company
When searching for a house, many first-timers immediately assume that going without a real estate company is their best option. After all, not working with real estate agents means immediate cost savings. Yet any short-term cost savings can easily be eclipsed by long-term problems with your real estate search. In fact, about 78% of recent homebuyers reported that they found their real estate agent to be a “very useful” source of information. Given this statistic, real estate companies are well worth the investment.
Steering clear of these mistakes only takes a few minutes of planning — and can save you countless hours of time and dollars in the long run. It’s your first step to buying the home for sale you’ve always dreamed of.