10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

Mistake #1 Looking at homes before getting pre-approved by a lender

Until meeting with a qualified loan officer, it's impossible to know exactly how much a bank is willing to loan you for a home purchase. Lenders essentially use five criteria in determining their willingness to fund your mortgage.

  • Your income
  • Down payment
  • Credit record
  • Employment status and history
  • Value of property

A pre-approval letter from the lender will establish a price range to aid in your home search. It also can be used as a valuable negotiating tool once you make an offer on a home. If you'd like a recommendation on a fantastic lender, feel free to browse our lending resources

Mistake #2 Selecting your lender based solely on a interest low rate

The lowest rates in town are not necessarily the best “deal” for you. Lenders sometimes offer attractive rates to attract applicants from their pool of current borrowers. Their hope is to keep these applicants and then switch them to a program with different terms and rates. Rarely do these situations save the borrower money.

At the Marti Hampton Team, we work very closely with a number of top notch loan officers every day and are involved with hundreds of transactions each year. This gives us the advantage of being able to meet and recommend local lenders who are doing excellent work. Try using a mortgage calculator to see how your payments might change based on interest rates and your down payment, and feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

Mistake #3 Choosing the most expensive home in the neighborhood that's been extensively improved

There's always one home in the neighborhood that's practically bursting with brand new amenities and top-of-the-line appliances. Because it's so glamorous and modern, it's usually priced a lot higher than other homes in the neighborhood.

While it can be quite an advantage to own a moderately priced home surrounded by more expensive homes, it's not a good idea to own an expensive home surrounded by homes of lesser value. Start your home search the right way and call us if you have any questions!

Mistake #4 Purchasing a home that fits you “right now”

Buying a home is a long term investment, so you should think about the long term! Don't underestimate the size of your dream home in an effort to avoid spending more cash and incurring a higher mortgage payment. In the long run, it will cost less to borrow extra cash so be sure and talk to a lender to learn about all your options.

Mistake #5 Failing to investigate property taxes

If you're considering buying a home, go beyond looking at the tax amount stated on the listing sheet or the current tax bill. Call the county where the home is located and ask how often properties are reassessed and how much they go up on average. If it's been a while since the last reassessment, you could incur a large increase once you buy the home.

High taxes make properties unappealing for many reasons. Surprise tax increases can take a large bite out of your monthly housing budget, so it's crucial to do your research on county and property taxes for your home. 

For more info on taxes in the Triangle area, we've created a resource page to guide you. 

Mistake #6 Purchasing a home without a professional, experienced buyers specialist

Having a knowledgeable, experienced buyers specialist means that you always have someone looking out for your best interests. Buyers agents have a wealth of specialized skills, tools, and resources that are custom-tailored to fit the needs of homebuyers.

When you work with a buyers specialist, they will assist you in the selection process by guiding you to homes that are best suited to your needs, budget, and dreams. Simply give them a list of your must-haves, and they'll take it from there.

Need more reasons why you should hire an expert? Take a look at the many benefits to working with Team Marti before you get started. 

Mistake #7 Giving your name and personal and financial information to the agent at the open house or new home sales model

By doing this, you might inadvertently give up your right to have your own agent and compromise your negotiating power. Know your rights by reviewing all of the buyer resources available to you. 

Mistake #8 Believing that you cannot negotiate terms on new construction

Most general brokerage agents are under this impression — and like any negotiation, you have a 50/50 chance of getting either a "yes" or "no" answer. However, it never hurts to ask! Start browsing and learning more about your new construction options before you buy. 

Mistake #9 Failing to get all repairs done prior to closing

Once your home closes, you are responsible for all repairs needed. This can add up to thousands of dollars coming out of your pocket.

Request your free home buying guide for more details.

Mistake #10 Getting directly involved in the negotiations by working directly with a For Sale By Owner instead of using a buyers specialist

You are not saving money this way, either. You will miss costly issues.