Being a first-time homebuyer can be an overwhelming experience, with brand-new concepts to learn and life-changing decisions to make. There are also plenty of fine details that are easy to overlook but can end up causing you problems if you don’t address them correctly with your independent mortgage broker and real estate agent. Here are four of the most common traps people fall into when purchasing their first home:
1. Not Planning for the Future
It’s easy to fall in love with a cute little home that fits you perfectly. However, it pays to think about how big your family could be in a few years — and whether you need a larger home to fit your goals. Or, which amenities are easy to go without in good weather (like a garage) but can become a hassle after the first big snowfall.
2. Not Knowing What a Home Inspection Covers
Your real estate agent should advise you to have a home inspection done before purchasing the home. However, find out exactly what your inspection covers — will they check for mold, pest infestations, or harmful gases like radon? Did they check out every part of the house, including the attic and crawlspace? If you’re concerned about something, ask the inspector to take a look and report on their findings.
3. Not Getting Enough Homeowner’s Insurance
You will be required to purchase homeowner’s insurance before closing. But don’t settle for the first policy you find — shop around and compare rates! Examine what is (and isn’t) covered in your policy. And, as a general rule, flood damage is never covered — you’ll have to buy that separately.
4. Not Working with an Independent Mortgage Broker
Many real estate agents will steer you toward mortgage brokers they have a personal relationship with. Before you commit, look into using an independent mortgage broker. Instead of using just one lender, they’ll shop for loans from a carefully chosen group of lenders to find a monthly payment and loan option for your needs. As a mortgage expert, they’ll also help you through every step of the loan process and make sure your closing goes as smoothly as possible.
Good Advice Goes a Long Way
It’s natural to be overwhelmed during your first home purchase. However, you have your independent mortgage broker and real estate agent who are experts in the home buying process to walk you through all the details. When you take the time to avoid issues, you’re sure to be enjoying your new home soon, with fewer hiccups along the way — and fewer regrets.