(TNS)—The experience of buying your first home often brings up a lot of emotions. With so many new considerations and complicated processes to navigate, it’s easy to get tripped up in details and make costly mistakes.
Read on to learn how to avoid making common first-time buyer missteps.
Don’t skip home loan qualification
Once you decide to buy a home, it’s tempting to start touring properties right away. REALTOR Cheryl Grant in Grand Rapids, Mich., advises you to resist.
Instead, make your first stop a lending office. Figure out how much you qualify to borrow before wasting your own time and that of a seller, she says. You don’t want to sign a contract only to discover the bank won’t loan you the necessary funds.
Know what you can afford
Many first-time buyers fail to budget properly, often confusing what they can afford with what lenders tell them they qualify to borrow. If you haven’t yet, make a list of your monthly expenses before settling on a house budget.
“You absolutely should not be looking at homes out of your price range,” says Brian Pakulla, a REALTOR in Ellicott City, Md.
Doing so could cause you to stretch your finances too thin or make you feel dissatisfied when you do budget and then start to look at homes in your price range, he says.