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Common home buying mistakes and how to avoid them

Buying a home is a significant financial and emotional investment, and it's crucial to navigate the process with caution and diligence.

Unfortunately, many prospective homeowners fall prey to common mistakes that can lead to financial setbacks and stress.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most prevalent home-buying mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them.

Pre Approval2

Skipping the pre-approval process

One of the first and most crucial steps in the homebuying journey is obtaining a mortgage pre-approval.

Some buyers make the mistake of house hunting without knowing how much they can afford.

This oversight can lead to disappointment, wasted time, and the potential for falling in love with a home that is out of financial reach.

It's particularly important to ensure you arrange financial approval before bidding at an auction as winning an auction tends to mean entering into an unconditional contract.

To avoid disappointment or possible extra costs, consult with a mortgage lender early on to understand your budget and secure pre-approval.

Neglecting to budget for additional costs

Buying a home involves more than just the purchase price.

Many first-time buyers overlook additional costs such as closing fees, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance expenses.

This is not to mention any renovation work that may be required in your home.

Aussies love renovation - according to a study of 50 countries by Compare the Market, Australia ranked second globally for the Google search term "kitchen renovation" and third for "bedroom renovation".

Failing to budget for additional costs could strain your finances and lead to unexpected monetary burdens.

Create a comprehensive budget that includes all potential expenses to ensure you are financially prepared for homeownership.

Inspection

Foregoing a home inspection

Skipping a home inspection to save time and money can be a risky move in the long run.

A home inspection can uncover hidden issues that may not be visible during a casual walkthrough.

A qualified building inspector will be able to identify potential problems, such as structural issues, and water damage.

Investing in a thorough inspection can save you from purchasing a home with costly repairs and potential safety hazards. 

Always make an informed decision by having a professional inspect the property before finalising the purchase.

Ignoring the importance of location

It should come as no surprise that location is an important factor to consider when purchasing a property.

Some buyers prioritise the property itself while overlooking the neighbourhood and its amenities.

According to an analysis by AECOM, houses located on Sydney suburb streets with more tree coverage were valued higher than those with less coverage.

For example, in Annandale, the average tree coverage is 25 per cent, but houses in the streets with 35 per cent canopy coverage were valued at $61,000 more.

Factors such as school districts, proximity to work, and the overall safety of the area are also crucial to consider.

Research potential neighbourhoods thoroughly and consider your lifestyle and future needs when selecting a location.

Emotional

Getting emotionally attached too quickly

Falling in love with a property can cloud your judgment and lead to impulsive decisions.

It can be harder to see the flaws in a space when you have already imagined yourself living there.

Try to approach the homebuying process with a level head and avoid getting emotionally attached too soon.

Keep in mind that there will always be other properties, as it's harder to negotiate a deal while emotionally invested.

Take the time to evaluate each property objectively and consider all factors before making an offer.

This approach will help you make a sound investment that aligns with your long-term goals.

Not researching the market

Understanding the real estate market is crucial for making informed decisions.

Factors to consider will change depending on where and what you're buying.

Researching recent comparable sales, property values, and potential future developments can help you determine the fair market value of a property and guide your negotiation strategy.

Additionally, familiarising yourself with the area's supply and demand can help to build your strategy when putting in an offer.

Stay informed by attending open houses, talking to real estate agents, and researching online resources.

This can help you make a competitive yet reasonable offer on a property.

Avoiding common home-buying mistakes requires careful planning, research, and a realistic understanding of your financial situation.

By taking the time to educate yourself on the steps of buying a property, and learning about the market you're looking to purchase in, you can navigate the homebuying process with confidence.

About Apart from our regular team of experts, we frequently publish commentary from guest contributors who are authorities in their field.
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