Buying a Home? Don't Do This.
1. Create an unreasonable budget
There are many unexpected costs accompanying the home buying process. Plan ahead for fees covering appraisal, credit reporting, escrow and notary. When calculating the cost of owning, include monthly mortgage payments, approximate maintenance costs, insurance, property taxes and more. Ask your lender to help you consider any other unforeseen expense.
2. Neglect your credit score
Don’t just go onto any website and get your score, obtain your credit reports from Experian, Transunion and Equifax to understand your mortgage loan program options and begin budgeting.
If your credit is poor, correct any errors that may appear on your credit report – it’s not uncommon for errors to be present and is always worth investigating. Then, pay your monthly minimum balances on time. Next, pay down your debts as best you can. Also inquire about Rapid Rescoring, which can help eradicate errors and give your score a quick boost.
3. Ignore mortgage market trends
Check your mortgage news sources to monitor rates and consult with trusted real estate agents to see if the market is working in your favor as a buyer. Mortgage rates are certainly at lowest lows and buying at any point will be advantageous – small fluctuations in rates hardly save or cost you extra money. However, knowing that the housing market is swinging toward seller advantage (and therefore prices are up) could save you thousands.
4. Nix pre-approval or pre-qualification
Sellers often taking competing bids on their house and trying to choose the highest or most secure offer – or both. Getting pre-approved sends a message to the seller that not only are you good for your money, but a lender said your credit profile and financial history make you an attractive candidate for financing. Many real estate agents will not work with a buyer until their credentials have been looked over by a lender, which should be motivation enough to seek a pre-approval or pre-qualification.
5. Fall in love too quickly
Don’t blind yourself to a home’s financial value. You could find yourself paying more than a home is worth. Revealing your enthusiasm to the seller or seller’s agent is equivalent to relinquishing your negotiating power.
Always get a home inspection, and never agree to anything until you’ve looked it over on paper.