The Most Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Home buying mistakes are most people's nightmare. After all, your home is most likely to be your one biggest purchase in your lifetime. If you make a mistake, it can be costly.

Here is a list of 10 common homebuyer mistakes, as suggested by David Weekley's book "How to Buy a Home Without Getting Hammered":

  1. You didn't do your homework!

    You need to have some knowledge on your side before you go house hunting, otherwise an unscrupulous person in the process can take you. There are many places to find good information (including this site!) A little time spent becoming knowledgeable can save you a lot of heartache (and potentially money) later.

  2. You were more focused on making a shrewd investment than buying the right house for you and your family.

    Here's one that's easy to fall into. However, the bottom line is that you should be buying something to live in. The housing market is tough to anticipate, just like the stock market. If you buy to stay for a long time, you'll win over the longer term.

  3. You've forgotten to keep good location in mind.

    Let's face it; one of the most important things for you and your family is a good location. Your home should reflect your needs. However, no one needs to have a home on the busiest street or with a shopping center in your back yard. Pay attention to good access to services that you need, while also keeping in mind that you are likely to see a better return on your purchase with a good location.

  4. You overlooked an inferior floor plan for an attractive exterior.

    While you want your home to look good on the outside, the most important space is inside. You want a liveable home that gives you the space and amenities that your family needs.

  5. You overlooked how the house will function for your family.

    Let's take an example: you've purchased a home with a large formal dining room, but no other eating area, and you've got 2 children under the age of 5. Clearly, this house isn't going to work for your family unless you have children that are much cleaner eaters than the average. Keep in mind how you really live. Would you be happier with an eat-in kitchen? Do you need a home office? Pick your home accordingly.

  6. You didn't have your resale home inspected before you bought.

    Oh, oh. What if you just got a lemon? In the same way that you should have a second-hand car checked over by a mechanic, you should have your "new to you" home inspected. You don't want surprises when you are moving into a home. The cost of the inspection is a fraction of what a major repair could cost you.

  7. You didn't check the builder's reputation when purchasing your new home.

    The quality of your home is completely dependent on that builder. Get the wrong one and you can end up with serious problems. In our own file of builder problems is one woman who spent over 10 years trying to get a bad builder to fix all the problems in her home. Don't lose time and money. Talk to people who have purchased from the same builder. Check on the Internet for consumer sites that deal with homebuilders. Speak with your local Better Business Bureau. A bad builder can be a very costly mistake.

  8. You've lost out because you lost your patience.

    Buying a house is a big decision. Spend all the time you need. Many people spend weeks and months researching the latest digital gadget they've fallen in love with, and want to buy a house in a week! If you jump into the market because of impatience, you can make a bad decision.

  9. You're waiting for a better market, or interest rates.

    While this can be a good strategy in some situations, if you can get into the market, it's usually better to get in. Just buy within your means. As Warren Buffett, a well-known investment guru in the US says; the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield. Don't end up remorseful because you didn't buy when you had the chance.

  10. You decided not to buy at all.

    Really? If you can afford a home and you don't make the purchase, you'll lose the benefit of tax deductions, building home equity and appreciation. If you can buy, do!

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