The combination of record-low mortgage rates and extended cabin fever has many Coloradans looking to buy a home. Even with obstacles brought on by COVID-19, folks are starting to see how attainable homeownership really is in 2020.
You might be surprised to know that the home buying process can be fairly simple and stress-free. But in order for it to be seamless, you must do your part while also adhering to others’ guidance. No buyer wants to make a costly mistake before closing on their home.
That said, here are a few things you shouldn’t do before buying a house.
Not talking to a lender
Say you’re out for a walk with your significant other and notice a house you’ve always loved is for sale. You grab a flier and browse photos of the inside before racing back to your apartment to check out the property on Zillow. Come to find out, the residence you’ve had your eye on for years is a million-dollar home.
You can avoid this disappointment altogether by talking to a trusted mortgage lender. They’ll walk you through the pre-approval process and determine exactly how much home you can afford. A pre-approval letter not only keeps you from straining yourself financially, but it also gives you buying power in a possible bidding war.
Not working with a real estate agent
We get it — you may not want to opt for a traditional realtor. As someone who enjoys learning and handling things yourself, you don’t see the need for teaming up with someone else. Trust us, though, a real estate agent makes all the difference in the world, especially for first-time home buyers.
Pro tip: Not all real estate agents provide the same level of service. That’s why we suggest doing some research and making your decision largely based on previous client satisfaction. Ideally, you should choose a realtor who has years of experience and knowledge of the area.
Holding out for the “perfect” house
Take a moment to think about your dream home. Perhaps it has a walk-in closet for getting ready in the morning or a finished basement for entertaining guests. Alternatively, maybe it has a big backyard for the family you’re hoping to raise in the next few years.
We hate to dampen your spirits, but it’s rare for a first-time buyer to score their dream home. Remember that it’s okay to start with something small, such as a condo or townhouse. Colorado’s home prices continue to soar, which means you may be able to move out of your starter home sooner than you think.
Buying a house just to buy a house
This is a big one. Chances are you’re seeing friends and family members become homeowners for the first time. But just because people around you are entering the market doesn’t necessarily mean you should do the same.
What’s our reasoning for this? Well, if your job doesn’t seem secure due to COVID-19 or there aren’t many homes within your price range, consider staying put for the time being. Use this time to build up a down payment fund, improve your credit score, and further educate yourself on the home buying process.
Losing control of your finances
If you haven’t done so already, make a list of your current debt obligations. Be sure to include credit cards, student loans, car loans, and personal loans. While it’s tempting to put these payments on hold as you save money for a house, doing so could lead to you losing the loan.
You’ll need to be extra careful with your finances as you look to buy a house. Your lender will likely advise you to steer clear of large purchases, such as a new car. You also risk forfeiting the loan if you open up new lines of credit or quit your job before closing.
Forgetting the “little things”
Every detail matters on your homeownership journey. Granted, hiring a home inspector isn’t normally high on people’s lists. But it’s things like this that can make or break your entire experience.
At American Home Agents, we go above and beyond for every client. Whether you’re buying your first, next, or forever home, our agents will be there every step of the way.
We have decades of combined experience, and we know the Front Range like the back of our hands. So why not take the first step toward investing in yourself and owning a home? Give our team a call at (303) 695-5900.