Buying your first home can be an exciting
Buying your first home can be an exciting – albeit stressful – time. Unfortunately, many first time buyers are left with feelings of regret once closing is finished and the last papers are signed.
According to a recent survey by Nerd Wallet, almost 50% of buyers said they would approach buying differently if they could do it again. Not only that, but 3 in 5 respondents said they had regrets about the shopping or mortgage process.
The following are five of the most common regrets first time buyers have. By learning from the mistakes of others, you can avoid these common pitfalls and be ready to pop open the champagne when you get the keys to the home of your dreams.
Being a first time buyer in California is tougher than any other state in the country, according to Bankrate [http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/best-worst-states-for-first-time-homebuyers.aspx]. With limited inventory and a median home price of $460,844 – which is nearly twice as high as the national average – buyers in the Golden State can feel particularly stressed over price.
2. To avoid getting underwater on a mortgage you can’t afford, set up a realistic budget before you begin looking at homes. Make sure to set firm limits as to what your maximum budget is and discuss in advance how high you would be willing to go in a bidding war.
3. Mortgage lender
First time buyers often find themselves overwhelmed as they scramble to find the necessary documentation to complete their mortgage. Working with a local lender as opposed to a national bank can make the lending process more accessible and personal – and less stressful.
Buyers may be willing to overlook a bad area for the perfect house, but it’s often a decision they regret in the long run. Be sure to visit it both during the day and at night, check crime statistics, and research local public schools – even if you don’t have children. Consider factors such as noise levels, walkability, amenities, and more.
5. Parking and transportation
A thirty-minute drive to the office might not seem so bad while house hunting, but the reality of bumper to bumper traffic twice a day can leave new homeowners with serious buyers remorse. Researching commute times, availability of street parking, or access to public transportation can help you find a home that realistically meets the transportation needs of your family. Likewise, commit to a test run commute in both the morning and evening; this can give you a realistic sense of what your new day-to-day routine will be like in a home.
6. Overly ambitious renovations
Many buyers view their new homes as a blank canvas, making grand plans to paint, put in new flooring, tear out kitchens, or even build extensions. While having a long term vision or plan for your new home is important, being overly ambitious with renovation plans can leave you frustrated. Be realistic about what work you can do yourself and what will need to be done by a contractor; likewise, plan out what projects need to be done before moving in and what can be saved up for in a few years.