Major mistakes to avoid when buying a home
By avoiding these mistakes, your home buying experience will be exponentially more enjoyable and less stressful.
1| Get pre-approved prior to touring homes
When thinking about purchasing a home, this needs to be step 1. Unless you will be buying a home with cash, step #1 needs to be reaching out to a local lender and getting the approval process. Especially in this current seller's market where desirable homes are going quickly, not having a pre approval letter will seriously put you behind the eight ball when it comes to writing an offer. If you find a home that you fall in love with, you want to be able to submit an offer immediately - if you submit an offer to the seller without a pre-approval, your offer immediately goes to the back of the line. Make this priority #1.
2| Do not deplete your liquid savings
Please, do not empty your savings account going into homeownership. I realize you want to put as much down as possible in order to lower your monthly payments or purchase a more expensive home, but by depleting your savings going into homeownership, you're putting yourself at major risk. What if a 5k furnace goes out, or the roof starts to leak... There is calling your landlord to come and fix the issue, YOU ARE NOW THE LANDLORD. You need to have money in the bank, period.
3| Do not take out new lines of credit or increase current credit lines before closing
Just don't do it. Don't buy that shiny new car or that furniture set at Macy's before closing. Your lender will not only check credit and income to debt ratios at the beginning, but through the real estate transaction. Be smart. A real estate deal lasts 30-40 days - be patient and wait until after close to make those purchases.
4| Do not buy more house than you can afford
The last thing you want to do after closing is regret your decision. Buying a home is expensive - selling a home shortly after the buy WILL BE very expensive. Just be smart and make sure you're comfortable with the monthly payment and the cash that it takes to close the deal. Going back to #2, if it takes everything that you have as far as liquid funds to purchase a home, you likely cannot afford that home - even if you're comfortable with the monthly payment. You need an emergency fund when entering homeownership.
5| You didn't call me first
I won't allow you to make any of these mistakes. I am not your financial advisor or your lender, but I will walk you through the process and get you in the hands of my trusted partners so that you're well taken care of. If your broker refers you to Quicken Loans or some other online lender, run. If your broker tells you that it's ok to deplete your savings in order to put 5% down, run. If your broker tells you that a mortgage payment equal to 50% of your take home pay is ok, run. If your broker allows you to tour homes before you're pre approved by a local lender, then that means he has too much time on his hands and isn't doing any deals currently, so run. You want a broker that will put your best interests in mind as priority #1 - not a broker that is just looking for a quick commission check.
Call me to notice the different.