Buying a home can be quite an adventure - one that is both exciting and, at times, overwhelming.
There are many steps to follow, and one misstep could cause delays — or even keep you from buying your ideal home altogether. Here are the most common first time buyer mistakes and more importantly - how to AVOID them!
1. Looking for Properties at the Top Range of Their Max Budget
While setting a budget and understanding all the added costs that come with being a homeowner, buyers tend to only look for properties within their price range, forgetting that market conditions may work in their favor. A buyers' market means sellers no longer have the upper hand and should be willing to negotiate the purchase price. Listing discounts can knock off up to 7% of the final purchase price in today's market, so why not look at listings slightly ABOVE your max budget, considering the final price is likely to go down?
2. Looking at Homes Before Speaking With a Lender
Many buyers get excited about looking for a home and think that getting pre-approved is easy. While this might be true depending on your financial situation, in a competitive or tight market you could miss out on good properties because you didn't pre-approval ahead of time. Taking the time to apply for approval upfront is also the simplest and most accurate way to determine how much house you can afford. You may think you have a handle on all the costs associated with owning a home, but this isn’t the time to risk human error.
3. Avoiding Co-Ops Because of Their Strict Policy
While it’s true that co-ops have stricter financial requirements and a board approval process to pass, buyers who see themselves living in Manhattan long-term and have the financial ability, should not pass up on co-ops. 75% of New York City's housing is co-ops, and they tend to have great value for money: they're often cheaper than condos, and more spacious since they were built before the 1980s.