Buying a home can be can be stressful, especially since you don’t know quite what to expect. To help you see past some of the unknowns, we’ve put together a list of 5 things most people wish they knew before buying their first home.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying My First Home
Learn these five things – and how to adjust your thinking – so you can avoid some of the headaches most first time home buyers in Austin face.
#1: Rein in Your Emotions
I know that buying a home – particularly your first home – is an exciting and at times anxiety ridden experience. Your emotions ebb and flow, spike and plummet as your home choices expand or contract. I know you want to get it right, like every first-time buyer does, but buying a home is not math class. There is no absolutely right answer when it comes to selecting and securing the right home. One fact is however clear: Don’t make an offer unless you’re thrilled about the home – whether in its existing condition, or redecorated within your means. But don’t get too excited until after you have secured the property under contract, have approved the home’s condition and obtained a satisfactory appraisal.
#2: Be Willing to Adjust Your Home Search Parameters
Tweak your search parameters when pickings are slim. I am not suggesting that you over extend yourself financially. Any fool with a checkbook (e.g. politicians) can take on too much debt or use every last dollar to squeeze in to a home, and there are people out there who will help you do that. If you find that your cannot find or cannot get your offers accepted on a home (or homes) within the price range you have established, take a look at homes slightly below your price range. In hot markets like Austin we are seeing multiple offers and over-bids so looking at homes priced below your top-end gives you room to adjust to the strength of the market.
#3: Investigate and Proactively Ask a Lot of Questions
Do your due diligence. Stop! Look! Listen! And Look Again! Seller Disclosures, Inspection Reports, Surveys, Preliminary Title Reports are just a sampling of the documentation you’ll be given. The idea is you will read over the information. You probably won’t understand it all. Don’t be afraid to say or ask: “I don’t understand this document.”… “Please explain.”… “Why is this important?”…“What does this mean?”… How these things can hurt me?” … “What will this cost to fix?” Seek out reputable people for help and hire professionals to perform your inspections (not Uncle Louie), attend them and be proactive in your search for answers.
#4: Have a Clear Vision of What You Want and Don’t Want
Cultivate a clear vision about how you see your life in your new home. Buying a home is more than how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms and do you want a garage. Buying a home is one step toward a life style change. Clearly knowing what you most want to change about your current housing situation will help you know what you’re supposed to be looking for. What are the 3, or 4, or 5 (that’s enough) features that you positively need in your next home? What are the 3 or 4 characteristics or amenities your new neighborhood must offer? What are the deal killers; what features about a house or characteristics of a street or neighborhood are unequivocally unacceptable…don’t bother looking.
#5: Make an Informed Purchase Decision
We all know that buying a home is the single biggest investment most of us will ever make. It seems to me that spending the time and thought necessary to make an informed purchase decision should be in proportion to the size of the investment.
Ready to Get Started Buying a Home in Austin?
Whether it’s your first home or your fifth, we can help make your next purchase as stress free as possible. Check out our Austin Home Buyer Representation Program to find out how we’re different. Then call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.