Resolution #4: Avoid Windsor House Buying Mistakes

Posted in Buyer Blog | 04/12/2012

Windsor House

Windsor House

Today, we are focusing on what buyers should avoid when shopping for a Windsor house.  In this monthly series of resolutions that we are comprising for 2013 buyers and sellers we have already discussed several steps that can make your real estate experience go more smoothly while possibly saving you thousands of dollars.

For buyers, let’s look at the top house hunting mistakes they need to avoid when searching for a home.  Before you even walk out the front door to meet your real estate agent, read over the following blunders that too many buyers make. Like sellers who often can’t let go of the attachment they have to their home, it’s important buyers understand that purchasing a property needs to be a rational and thoughtful decision.  Yes, easier said than done, but take a look at the most common mistakes we see buyers make:

1.  Falling in love with a home you can’t afford:

Once a buyer falls in love with a particular home, it’s rare they forget about it.  We see this time and time again.  But if the home exceeds your price range, then it’s best not to make an appointment to view it.  Again, this is where getting a pre-approval letter is so important as that will tell you exactly what you can afford.  Stick to your budget and don’t be tempted to view anything that is far out of your financial comfort zone.

One suggestion: Start your search at the low-end of your price range, and if you can’t find anything, then go higher.

2.  Thinking There’s No Other Better Home:

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that there is only one house out there for you.  In today’s real estate market, there is lots of inventory where you have an excellent chance in finding a home that suits your needs.  Even if your list of “must-haves” is long, chances are, there will probably be several homes from which to choose.  So if you find out that your first choice doesn’t come through, be open to other homes your real estate agent will have for you.

3.  Being Desperate:

Don’t buy a home out of desperation.  Whether you have been outbid, or not seeing any properties you like, don’t throw your hands up in the air and buy just any home.  Chances are, you may move into a house you end up hating and this is where buyer’s remorse hits.  Unfortunately, this can be a costly mistake.  Remember that it is okay to wait until you find something that suits you and your family.  Just be realistic about your budget and you will find something you can live with and enjoy.

4.  Overlooking Repairs

Buyers often fall in love with a house despite the fact that it needs expensive repairs.  Don’t buy a home that is more work that you can handle or can afford.  Chances are, repairs can be more expensive than originally estimated, and even if you think you can fix it yourself, you need to evaluate your abilities, budget and if you can move into your property while work is being done.  What often looks easy turns out to be much more.

5.  Rushing An Offer:

Don’t pay attention to anyone that suggests you rush an offer on a house if you are unsure of the property.  Don’t ignore the important steps, like making sure the location is safe at night, in a good school district or close to your work if that is important to you.  It’s always good to take a night and sleep on your decision before making an offer.  Usually the next morning, you will know if the house is a good fit for you and your family.  Taking the time to consider your home buying decision will make you feel secure that it’s the right one.

6.  Taking Your Time

However, don’t take too long to make a decision if you do love the home and the neighbourhood.  Losing out on a property can be heartbreaking.  Don’t drag out your home search because chances are, someone will come around and snap up the home, particularly if it’s priced right and in a highly desirable location.

7.  Offer Too Much:

It’s tempting for buyers to offer too much for a home they love and particularly if there is a bidding war.  But understand there are some problems that come along with this way of thinking.  First, if the home doesn’t appraise at the amount you offer, banks won’t give you the loan unless the seller reduces the price or you come up with the difference.  Second, if the housing market stays the same or declines, then you could find yourself in a home that is underwater should you need to sell.  Make sure that you and your real estate agent go over comparable sales before making an offer on a house.  Not too long ago, a buyer was desperate for a home and was willing to offer the asking price.  When reviewing nearby comp sales, the real estate agent thought the buyer could ask several thousand dollars less.  The buyer took that advice, and ended up saving over $15k.

So remember, before you meet with your real estate agent, understand that buying a home is an emotional process.  A clear, rational head is needed to ensure that you are getting the best home at the best price.

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