Let's face it. If you could go back in time, what would future you tell the old you to save you a lot of time and headaches? That question is rather open-ended, but when it comes down to buying your first house, there are some things a lot of people would have done well to have been forewarned about.
- Talking to only one lender: Unfortunately for first-time buyers, they will oftentimes get a mortgage from the very first lender or bank they talk to. This is generally a huge mistake and can mean that you're potentially leaving a ton of cash on the table.
- Buying more house than you can afford: Depending on your situation, you may be looking to upgrade. Some agents will play nice and guide you within your budget, while others will reach out of your budget, to see how much you're truly looking to spend. Just remember this, and don't regret buying more house than you need. Stick to your budget.
- Prioritize the house over the neighborhood: This is a package deal. You could end up with a great deal on a mansion fit for a king, but if it shares a yard with a prolific prison, you might want to rethink family picnics and BBQs. Selecting the right town is critical to your life and family development, it's not just about the house, it's about finding a place to lay down roots where the culture and values of the community reflect yours.
- Waiting for the unicorn: Unicorns are mythical creatures both in real estate and in nature. Always searching for that house that checks every one of your boxes' perfection can narrow your choices too much and might lead you to pass over good, suitable options in the hopes that something bigger and better will surely come along.
- Forget about the property tax- This can be the silent killer. This is different depending on the state, county, neighborhood, etc. you live in, so be sure to make sure you figure this out to avoid any expensive surprises down the road.
When you're a first time home buyer, knowing what not to do is the best place to start.