Buying a home in Jacksonville is so exciting! Who doesn’t love visiting homes with the potential to buy? As a first-time homebuyer, you may be eager to get going, but before you do, you’ll want to read this article so you don’t make some very common house hunting mistakes. Here are eight of the most common ones.
1. You don’t use a real estate agent
Mistake #1 is a big one: you didn’t use a real estate agent. Many home buyers mistakenly believe they don’t need an agent to view and purchase homes, but that is a costly mistake. First of all, many agents representing buyers don’t take a commission from the buyers – it comes from the sellers. This means that their service to you is actually cost-free. And the service they are giving you is important. Not only are they showing you homes, they are giving you background information on the home and its pricing. They’ll negotiate for you at offer time and will help you get from that stage to closing. You need an agent.
2. You don’t get preapproved for a mortgage
Not getting preapproved is mistake #2. There is no sense in beginning a home search until you know what you can afford. Some new buyers believe they know what they can afford, but in actual fact, lenders may not give you that amount. Don’t waste your time looking at homes out of your budget and get your preapproval first.
3. You have expectations that don’t fit your budget
Four bedrooms, well-maintained, modern, with a generous pool: sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But, can you afford it? Before you start your home search, take a look online to ensure your grand expectations fit your budget or you will be in for a world of disappointment when you get out there.
4. You don’t research neighborhoods
The Fair Housing Act tells realtors that they are not allowed to tell you much about the neighborhood where you are buying. This ensures there isn’t discrimination of any kind happening when it comes to where to buy a home. But, if you have specific needs for the area where you live (i.e., family friendly, close to certain amenities, etc.) you should be doing that research for yourself. You don’t want to buy a home as a young couple only to find the majority of the homeowners are retirees (or maybe you do). Do your research!
5. You don’t see the potential in a home
Homes that aren’t staged, clean or updated often turn off buyers. But, as a first-time homebuyer you need to see the potential in the home and not what’s on top. Look at the quality of the home, the area, the space and the lot to make your decision. Esthetic changes can happen after you buy, when you have the money for them.
6. You can’t see past the staging
On the flipside, don’t be fooled by elaborate staging to a home. A gorgeous and modern home can always be hiding things under the walls, so make sure you aren’t buying a home simply because of the furniture in it, because it will be your furniture you’ll be living with.
7. You use emotions to make your decisions
Emotions should play no role in a large transaction such as buying a home. Don’t fall in love with a home – instead decide rationally if it suits your lifestyle, budget and your goals.
8. You didn’t think about the future
Similarly, while the home may suit you now, will it later? Selling your home comes with a cost, so you should try to think about where you’ll be in the future when you buy your first Jacksonville home.