If you are buying Windsor Ontario real estate in 2014, particularly if you are a first time homeowner, be very careful to avoid the financial and emotional pitfalls while searching for a home. There are so many mistakes a buyer can make that can cost thousands of dollars, wipe out savings or offer a severe case of buyer’s remorse. Before you visit your first home, make sure that you have a very good idea of what type of home you want, the neighbourhood and most importantly, your budget.
Here are the biggest mistakes real estate agents see each day:
1. Buyers falling in love with a home they cannot afford:
Unfortunately, we see this time and time again. Buyers will look at a home they absolutely love and then are heartbroken when they find out from their bank that they cannot afford it. It is critical that buyers get a pre-approval letter BEFORE they start looking for a home so that this doesn’t happen. Stick to your budget, don’t look at homes you can’t afford and don’t be tempted to take anything out of your financial comfort zone. The sleepless nights are simply not worth it. Our suggestion: Look at homes at the bottom of your price range and then work your way up if you can’t find something that appeals to you.
2. Settling for less:
If you find a home that you only feel “okay” about, but that you are not in love with, don’t buy it. A buyer must really want a home and everything that comes with it. Don’t buy a home out of desperation or for fear that you aren’t finding any properties you like. Today’s buyers need to stay in a property for at least 5 years in order to gain some equity, so buy something that you can live with comfortably and with enjoyment.
3. Thinking you won’t find a better home than the one you lost:
Buyers who lose out on a bidding war often feel so depressed because they feel they won’t find a home they love as much. The good news? Most always do, in fact, most find homes they love even more! Chances are, you will find a home that will suit your needs, so if your first choice doesn’t come through, be open to visit other properties your real estate agent will have.
4. Ignoring needed repairs:
This is another emotional and financial pitfall buyers often succumb to. Don’t buy a home that is more than you can handle or afford. Chances are, repairs will be more expensive and more extensive than you originally thought. The overwhelming majority of buyers today want to buy a home that is move-in ready, which is why motivated sellers take their time to get their home ready for the real estate market. If something looks easy to repair, it can turn into much more. Make sure that you get advice from a professional home inspector to determine if a home is in good condition.
5. Rushing to buy:
Unless you know the location and have kept your eye out for a particular property, don’t rush to buy a home, especially if you are moving into a new area. It’s important to take all of the important and necessary steps, such as, making sure the home is in a safe neighbourhood, near good schools, or close to your work. Tour the property at various times of the day and night and sleep on your decision before making an offer. Do your research! We have heard horror stories from buyers who rushed to buy a home only to discover their neighbours were horrible or a commercial building was going up down the road. All of these issues can lower the price of your home if you were to sell.
7. Taking time to buy a home:
While it’s good to be patient when buying a home, don’t drag your feet if you find a home in the neighbourhood you love. Losing a property is a heartbreaking experience, so keep in mind that there is almost always another buyer right around the corner, especially for properties that are well priced and in good locations.
8. Don’t offer too much:
When there is a bidding war, some buyers get very emotional and insist on bidding too much for a home. Don’t overbid and make sure to stay within your budget. Review comparable sales with your agent to determine that your offer is within the price range. If you bid too much, the house will not appraise for your price and you will have to come up with the difference. Also, if you need to sell within the next few years, your home may not have enough equity and you will find yourself losing some money.
So remember, buying a home is an emotional process not to mention costly. It can be a roller coaster ride, but be patient and know the best home at the best price is out there ready for you to find.