With interest rates remaining at record-low levels, many people are realizing that now is the best time to purchase their first home. While embarking on your first real estate journey can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be with the right advice! In my experience working with scores of first-time buyers, I've narrowed down three common mistakes to avoid:
Believing Everything You Read On The Internet:
Over 90% of people use the internet to search for real estate before even speaking with a real estate professional. As can be imagined, the internet is home to limitless opinions and diatribes concerning best practices when dealing in real estate: some written by professionals who know the business and by some who have no business writing. When buying your first home, it's expected that there will be many questions. It is, after all, a learning process. What's the difference between a freehold and a condominium? Most first-time buyers are unsure of the answer. I cannot stress enough the importance of quickly weeding-out the internet junk and concentrating on information supplied by reliable, professional sources.
Not Getting Financing Pre-Approval:
Unless Uncle Joe left you his vast fortune, chances are that you will need to borrow money to purchase your first home. Many a time have I heard someone claim they can afford up to X amount. When I enquire as to how that number was formulated, a blank stare is usually the answer. When dealing with homes, “guesstimates” aren't good enough. As I share with my clients, it's paramount to know how much you can afford before even starting to look at houses. There are countless stories of couples falling in love with their dream home only to have it fall through because they couldn't qualify at that level for financing. You are always better off to skip the tears and Kleenex by consulting a professional first.
Hand-in-hand with financing pre-approval is credit score. Most first-time buyers have never checked their credit score (most people in general haven't, either). This could be an issue, as sometimes previous credit issues or errors in the report can hamper financing. The sooner you speak to a professional, the sooner any potential issues can be resolved, placing you on a better footing to buy your home.
Going It Alone:
The best part about buying a home through a real estate professional is that it's FREE! In 99% of sales, the Seller pays the buying REALTOR®. Knowledgeable, expert and professional service for free? What a deal!
While searching the internet for information may seem like a great idea at the start, in the end you will save time and money by working together with an expert. My business connections offer my clients deals on furniture, paint, moving costs and even vacations! Take advantage of these resources and experience, and skip the frustration of misinformation and not knowing what to do. Buying a home is a big deal – you need the right information!
It is never too soon to speak with a professional when considering buying a home. Getting accurate information and competent advice the first time around is always easier than wading through junk and fly-by-night “experts” and being lead down the wrong path. It saves time, effort and a whole lot of stress. With guidance from a real estate professional, you can be assured that you will be put on the right track in finding your new home.
If you're interested in buying or selling your home, call Seth at 905-462-0292 or 905-875-2100.