It’s inevitable that, as a result of going through the home-buying process for the first time, you’ll end up reevaluating your decision-making and consider how you could have done things differently. With so much at stake, and so many changing variables, it’s tempting to second-guess every minor step.
If you gather sound advice from people that have already gone through the process, however, you’ll be much more likely to act with confidence and avoid mistakes that others have made. Here are a few to watch out for:
Not conceptualizing the difference between rent and homeownership
If you’re a first-time buyer, you’re likely used to paying rent and utilities- but there are some extra costs associated with homeownership that you need to be aware of, such as garbage bills, lawn maintenance, and property taxes. Be prepared to handle these extra expenses.
Being pessimistic about qualifying for a loan
Many people assume that in order to qualify for a loan, you have to put 20% down. This is not the case. Try out an affordability calculator and talk to lenders about the different types of loans.
Waiting too long to get qualified
A lot of people wait until they find their desired home before applying for a loan. However, getting pre-approved will make the process go by more quickly and increase the likelihood of you nabbing it.
Considering a single lender
Different lenders can offer different things. Don’t just talk to one before making your choice. Do your research and shop around.
Borrowing the maximum amount
When a lender gives you approval for a loan, they’ll name the maximum amount they’re willing to lend. This often leads people to think they have that much to spend. Don’t forget that there will be plenty of upfront costs to cover, as well as emergencies that may come up.
Not looking into help with down payments
There are tons of down payment assistance programs- it’s almost like another mortgage! Talk to your agent or lender about them.