It was the best of time, and it was the worst of times. That isn’t just true of the French revolution and the opening lines of the classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, that is also true of touring for new homes for sale. It’s exciting to look at each home for sale as your future home. Every bedroom door that you open feels like opening a present on Christmas morning. What surprise lies behind the door?
On the other hand, figuring out what you can afford, deciding what home flaws you can live with and what isn’t worth investing in, walking through dozens of empty houses, and determining the lowest bid without losing the deal altogether. Buying a home involves hundreds of thousands of your dollars, and has huge implications on your future for a minimum of several years. To help you avoid making any huge mistakes that you’ll live to regret, we’ve created a list of common mistakes that you should make sure you avoid:
Four Mistakes People Make While Looking New Homes for Sale
- MISTAKE: Falling in love with the home and ignoring the location.
They say the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. While you’ll live in the home, the area around it will have an enormous impact on your quality of life and your ability to sell your home. You can always make changes to any new homes for sale that you wish were just a little different, but you can’t change the location without selling it and starting over somewhere else. Before narrowing your home search down to the flooring and master bath you love, pay attention to these location factors:
- School District. Even if you have no children, the school zone of the new homes for sale that you look at will have a big impact on your ability to sell your home later, and your property value.
- Commute Distance. You will love your new home far less if you have to spend an hour driving to and from work every day.
- Community. Do you like the vibe of the neighborhood? Do they offer amenities you would love, like a swimming pool? Can you live with the restrictions of the Homeowner’s Association?
- Surrounding Area.You’ll have an easy time selling your home if it is adjacent to a Starbucks. You’ll have a much less-easy time if it’s adjacent to a pork-processing plant.
- MISTAKE: Imagining that you’re a contestant on the show Fixer Upper
Unless you build your dream home to meet your every hope and desire, you’re going to have a tough time finding a home that doesn’t have at least one small thing you’d want to change. If it’s just a coat of paint or some mild backyard remodeling, you might be able to swing it. However, major home remodeling projects are not nearly as simple as Chip and Joanna Gaines make it seem. You’re going to be pretty tapped out after purchasing a brand new home, it will be difficult to jump into big home reno projects. You’re better off just purchasing a home you can live in today.
- MISTAKE: Imagining your needs will never change.
Life is full of surprises. Maybe your family will unexpectedly grow in the future. Maybe you’ll find yourself working from home and will need a home office. The point is, don’t buy a home without thinking of what needs you might have down the road, and how your home would be able to meet them. You don’t want to get yourself painted into a corner and have to go through the home buying process all over again before you’re ready to.
- MISTAKE: Forgetting your budget.
You might be approved for more financing than you can really swing payments for every month. You don’t want to look at the homes you can afford based on what financing you’re approved for. To live comfortably after you purchase your home, take a look at your income and expenses and determine what you can actually afford to pay every month. Once you have that number, be really strict with yourself not to get into a house that costs more than that. You won’t enjoy your new home if you spend every month stressing about how you’ll pay for it.
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