If you are considering buying a home in the Charleston, SC area and you are a first-time buyer you may find that the process can be somewhat daunting. We have put together a list of the 5 mistakes to avoid when buying a home that will help make your buying process less daunting. Of course this is not an exhaustive list but avoiding the following pitfalls will certainly make your life easier during your search for that perfect home.
Rushing Into The Deal
Agreeing to too high a price on a home can be one of the more costly mistakes you could make. Overestimating your knowledge of the real estate market is a related mistake. If you make an offer on the first house you fall in love with, you risk spending too much based on emotion. It’s a good practice to take your time, visit a lot of homes and gain some knowledge of the local price scale. If you happen to enter into negotiations and they come to a standstill, you shouldn’t be afraid to walk away.
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Underestimating the costs of home ownership is another costly mistake made by buyers based on a recent survey of real estate agents. Just calculating the mortgage is not enough. There are closing costs, home inspection fee, title search and attorney’s fee. Some of these can be negotiated but you should be aware of them. Don’t forget about the utilities, taxes and other monthly costs.
Failing To Upgrade Your Credit Score
In order to get a favorable rate on a loan, you need to have a strong credit profile, which means your credit score should be at least 740. You shouldn’t wait until the last minute to look over your credit report and make the changes to a better profile. If you see errors on the report, be sure to dispute them.
Not Shopping Around For A Mortgage
Yes, you can shop around for a mortgage. You can compare the offers from national banks, online banks, local banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Remember that the interest rates have a tendency to fluctuate so try to shop on the same day or relatively close. Keep in mind that lenders, brokers and agents, while informative, have a stake in the transaction. Keep your eyes wide open. You can find additional information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is also a good idea to get pre-approved for a loan before shopping.
Skipping The Home Inspection
According to many real estate agents, one of the biggest causes of buyer’s remorse is people who do not do a home inspection and find out later there were big problems with the house. It is important to be present when the inspection is done so you can learn of possible repair issues and to get some basic information on the home, like where the water shut off is and where the electrical panel is. A good resource to find licensed home inspectors the American Society of Home Inspectors website.
Avoiding these mistakes should help ease the stress of buying your home.
My name is Reggie Walters of Dunes Properties of Charleston South Carolina, Realtors. I specialize in helping you buy and sell homes and invest in Charleston and Mt. Pleasant South Carolina real estate.