Smart Decisions: 5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Home


Buying a home is an exciting life experience, but many first time buyers (and even seasoned ones) make mistakes. Avoid these five common mistakes to feel more confident about your purchase in the short and in the long term.

1. Moving Too Fast

One of the biggest mistakes homebuyers make is to move too fast. While buying a home is often an emotional decision, emotions often compel buyers to sign on the dotted line before they are ready. Before you even start your search, take time to honestly assess your finances. Determine what you can afford. Home expenses exceed simply a mortgage; speak to professionals who can offer you a real estimate of how much buying a home will cost you.

2. What You Don’t Know

Once you have a solid idea of what you can afford, conduct research. Let the internet be your guide as you look at different style homes, as well as a variety of communities in your desired area. Narrow down your list of must-haves, and then research comparable homes. Is your dream home attainable? In what areas of buying will you need to be flexible?

3. Living in the Present

Another common mistake is failing to think ahead. The future may hold a growing family, whether growth occurs by children being born or by elderly parents moving in. Jobs are lost and gained. And communities change in big and small ways. Not considering the various ways the future might alter leaves you unprepared to buy a home that might accommodate those changes. And while the future is uncertain, you can make decisions in the present that take some variables into consideration.

4. Going It Alone

Many homebuyers think they can go it alone, choosing not to enlist the help of a real estate agent or broker. For most of those homebuyers, this is a mistake. Real estate agents help buyers through the process, explaining the often daunting realities of buying. But agents may also be able to open doors that you can’t unlock on your own. In some cases, agents can get you in to see a property before it has officially been listed. This can give you a leg up on the buying competition and help you get the home of your dreams.

5. Taking On Too Much

Finally, perhaps one of the biggest mistakes made by homebuyers is biting off more than you can chew. When a home requires renovation of any kind, take into consideration how much time, money, and effort the renovation will really take — then add onto that. Renovations are notorious for being more complicated than initially thought, especially in older homes. Talk to a contractor you trust before you commit. This can reduce the number of surprises you will face down the line.

Mistakes are common and, in some cases, unavoidable when buying a home. Whether you are an experienced buyer or a newbie, review these common mistakes and try to limit how many you make. This will help you to get the home you love without the stress you don’t.