Home Buying Can Be Fun – If You Avoid These Mis-steps
Love at first sight– Love at first sight can bite you! For example: You find a house that trips some trigger way in the back of your heart and mind. Instantly, you fall in love and fairly quickly, your mind closes to the possibility of ever finding house love anywhere else. It’s better to look at house hunting like speed dating. Each candidate gets interviewed, even if they don’t quite fit “your type” until the event is over. You walk away intrigued by a few options you’d like to see again. Then, you actually see them again and maybe even more than once. Then choose one to have a monogamous relationship with. It may sound like a stretch but, it’s just like home buying. The key is to look at more than one and wait to fall in love until you have more than just a gut feeling.
Not “playing the field” before you’re ready to get serious– House “shopping” can be a lot of fun. It can also be helpful when you really are ready to make a long term commitment to buying. Much like dating… dating a little bit on a very casual basis before you’re ready to have a relationship [let alone one that could potentially last a lifetime] can be fun and can even help you become more confident when you decide to have a relationship. Taking the time to look at a variety of houses, without a commitment focus, allows you to check out options and details you’ll want in the house you do end up buying. It helps you to develop your “must have” list vs. your “would really like to have” list.
Listening to the advice of friends or family – Well meaning friends and family are wonderful. We should all be grateful to be fortunate enough to have them in our lives. This does not mean, however, that they are always right. Home buying is one of those instances where you really have to listen to your own heart and mind.
Don’t let them talk you into or out of something you’ll have regrets about later. [I know you were expecting a dating analogy here…]
Skipping a home inspection – Look at the home inspection like a prenup. It’s the opportunity to find out if there are any points that need to be discussed or negotiated or if there are any “deal breakers.” You’re still planning on making a commitment, but you know what you’re walking into when you do.
Not being ready to make an offer when it’s time – Having your finances ready to go so you can make an offer when the time arrives is a very important step. Not getting pre-approved for your loan is kind of like proposing without a ring. It’s possible that everything could come together, but why would you take the chance!