Common Orlando Home Buyer Mistakes
Common Orlando Home Buyer Mistakes
At Lineage Real Estate we are here to make the home process organized, efficient, and with the least amount of stress possible. Even for people who aren’t first-time home buyers, and it’s easy to get so caught up in the process that you make some mistakes. These are some of the most common Orlando home buyer mistakes and our pro tips to have a smooth closing from start to finish.
Not Using a Professional
While it is possible to buy a house without using a buyer’s agent, it’s definitely not recommended. House buying is complicated, and a real estate agent can help you navigate through that process. Also, an agent will be able to give you details about the neighborhoods, including other homes in the area that are for sale, along with answering any questions you might have.
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Buying When You Plan to Move
Most people expect to own their own homes during their lifetimes, but not everyone should buy a home. If you have reason to believe that you might only live in the same area for a few years, it’s a financial risk to buy a home. Generally, you need to own a house for 3-7 years to be able to at least break even if you need to sell the house. If you sell your house sooner than that, you’ll likely lose money, particularly if you did not put a substantial down payment on the house. If you don’t plan to stay long-term in the area, you’re better off renting.
Not Getting Preapproved for a Mortgage
Getting preapproved for a mortgage gives you a boost over other potential home buyers, because you already have financing in place when you look at houses. Sellers are usually more open to negotiations with buyers who have been preapproved for a mortgage, so the process will go much more smoothly.
Choosing Houses That Are Too Expensive
Even if you’ve been preapproved for a mortgage, it’s a bad idea to go to the very top limit of your mortgage amount. People are often preapproved for a bigger loan amount than they can comfortably afford. Financial situations, such as a job, can change, and you don’t want to be stuck with a house that you can no longer afford in a few years. Figure out how much you can comfortably spend on housing expenses each month, and stick to that budget.
Not Checking Multiple Lenders
It’s common for people to stick with their usual bank or credit union for a mortgage, but this could be costing you extra money. Most people don’t look at other lenders, to see if they offer better interest rates or special programs for particular buyers. It’s always a good idea to shop around a little for a mortgage, and it can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
Underestimating the Costs of Buying a Home
Many people only taking into account the purchase price of the house when they consider what they can reasonably afford, but there are other expenses to consider. For example, you also need to consider property taxes, home owners insurance, monthly utilities, homeowner association fees, and maintenance and repair costs. Those expenses can add a substantial amount to your monthly housing expenses.
Being Too Picky
The reality is that most people don’t buy their dream homes. They buy homes that fit their needs, homes that they like, and homes they can see themselves living in for years to come. For those reasons, it’s silly to reject a house because of minor issues like a yard that needs to be landscaped, rooms that aren’t your preferred paint colors, or the wrong kind of kitchen countertop. Many times, relatively minor cosmetic changes can be made to a house with minimal out-of-pocket expenses. For example, you can spend a weekend landscaping the yard if you hate the shrubs that line the front of the house.
Not Visiting the Property Multiple Times Before Submitting an Offer
This is a surprisingly common mistake with home buyers. It’s important to see a property multiple times before making a decision, and those times should be at different times of the day, maybe even different days of the week. A house that is situated on a quiet street on a Monday afternoon can look quite different on a Friday evening, when the neighbors have parties or BBQs.
Trusting a Verbal Agreement
Get everything in writing. It doesn’t matter how trustworthy you find the sellers to be, or how much you love the house. No agreement is legally binding unless it is in writing. So if the sellers agree to pay part of your closing costs, or they agree to leave the 5-burner gas stove that’s in the kitchen, request that in a written agreement.
Skipping the Home Inspection
A home inspection should be considered a requirement for any home purchase. The home inspection can give you valuable information about the condition of a house, along with alerting you to any potential problems or repairs that may need to be addressed in the near future. Even if you love the home and have no intention of backing out despite any issues, it’s still a good idea to get the home inspection done so that you’ll be aware of any potential issues.
Allowing Your Credit Score to Change Before Closing
Even if you’re preapproved for a mortgage, it’s always a good idea to avoid doing anything that can jeopardize your credit score in any way. Wait until after you complete the closing paperwork before going car shopping or looking for a new job. If your credit score drops before closing, it can put your financing in jeopardy.
To recap, there are many mistakes that are commonly seen with home buyers, and these are some of the ones seen most often. Reviewing this list can help you avoid those mistakes and make the process of buying your home go as smoothly as possible.