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Common mistakes people make when buying a home

Home buyer, Home buyer tips, home buyers, home buyers with keys

Are you planning to buy a home?  While this is an extremely exciting time in anyone’s life, the process is not without pitfalls and potential risks.

Here are some tips to avoid making some common mistakes during the process that could cost you big.

Don’t try to navigate the process alone

The home buying process can be extremely complicated, involving a variety of legal & regulatory requirements and timelines, financial obligations, disclosure requirements, and an understanding of building construction and zoning limitations.

A prepared home buyer should have a number of experts to rely on in order to avoid unwittingly making mistakes during the process.  Some experts you should have in your corner include:

A Real Estate Agent – Your Real Estate agent helps you navigate the entire process from beginning to end.  Not only do they help you find properties on the market that you may have an interest in, but they arrange for the walkthroughs and showings, negotiate on your behalf with the seller or their real estate agent, and assist with the closing.  Their input and support throughout the process makes them an invaluable member of your “home buying team”!

A Local Mortgage Lender – Whether you’re dealing with a local bank or credit union, your mortgage lender is going to help you through the pre-approval process so that you’re ready to start looking at houses, and later, through the closing and funding process.  While there are national lenders as well, it’s strongly recommended to work with a local mortgage lender that will be available to answer your questions and support you throughout the process.

A Home Inspector – You love those high ceilings and that open kitchen, but did you notice the lifted shingles on the roof, damp basement, or termite damage?  That’s what a Home Inspector is there for.  One of the most common mistakes home buyers make is purchasing a home without a home inspection as the home buyers often lack the expertise, and critical eye, needed to look for potential issues prior to the purchase.  Just imagine the potential cost of issues that you may not discover until after you move in – that’s why you need a home inspector!

Your Local Disaster Blaster – When your Home Inspector discovers an issue, you’ll need a knowledgeable Contractor to explain what will be necessary to resolve the issue and what the cost of that work may be.  This is important to ensure that you’re well informed prior to the purchase and that you’re able to negotiate the sale price with the seller based on the work that is necessary.  Ideally, your Contractor should be qualified in a variety of specialty issues that are commonly discovered by the home inspector, including Mold, Water Damage, Basement Waterproofing, Asbestos, and Radon.  Luckily, your local Disaster Blaster is here to help with many issues that your Home Inspector may discover!

Don’t cheap out on the inspection

A home inspection is where you find out what issues may exist in your home and what may be required to address them.  While the results of a home inspection should not be a deal breaker, it should be your opportunity to have unbiased eyes look at your dream home and point out what they see.

Home inspectors offer a variety of options with their home inspection, and we recommend electing for as many as make sense for your property.  Some common inspection options include:

Radon – With 1 in ever 15 homes across the country estimated to contain a Radon issue (Radon is a radioactive gas that is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer), it’s highly recommended to have a Home Inspector perform a Radon test.  The likelihood of Radon issues can vary widely from one area of the country to another, with some areas having a very high potential for Radon problems in homes.  Even if the home already has a Radon system, testing is recommended every 2 years to ensure the system doesn’t require any adjustments.

Mold – A common issue found in basements and attics, mold problems are estimated to exist in 70% of homes in the United States.  Since signs of mold aren’t always easy to identify, it’s a good idea to have your Home Inspector look for these issues during their inspection.

Roof – We’re sure you’ve spent a lot of time picturing yourself in the home, but who is going to look at the roof?  The answer is your Home Inspector!  During their inspection they will actually climb up on the roof and look for signs of storm damage, lifted or cupped shingles, flashing issues, and leaks!

Heating & Air Conditioning – Depending on when you are purchasing your home, the heating or air conditioning may not be on, so during the inspection, your Home Inspector will test these systems to make sure that they are in good working order.

Fireplaces & Wood Stoves – Issues with fireplaces and wood stoves are not uncommon, so it’s a good idea to have these systems fully inspected by your Home Inspector.  They will not only look for signs of damage or failure, but they’ll look for potential risks of fire as well.  This is an important inspection to ensure that fireplaces and wood stoves are safe to operate.

Wood Destroying Organism / Termite – Damage from pests like termites can be difficult to spot.  During the home inspection, your Home Inspector will look for signs of current, and past, infestation that could indicate weakened wood structures.

Don’t forget costs after closing

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of buying a home – and we don’t blame you!  But it’s important to keep in mind, and budget for, additional costs that you will have after closing such as moving costs and remodeling expenses.

As you go through the home buying process, you should keep a list of costs and additional steps that you may need to complete after closing to ensure that nothing is missed.  A few common after-closing costs include:

Remodels & Updates – We’re sure there are a few things you would like to change with the house, but those projects will be an additional cost.  While not all projects need to be tackled right away, any upgrades that you want to check off the list early on should be considered in your after-closing budget.  This allows you to plan for everything from painting to kitchen renovations!

New Furniture or Appliances – Will you need new kitchen appliances?  Will you need new furniture that better fits the style of the home?  These costs can add up quickly, so it’s always a good idea to keep these additional costs in mind as you get closer to closing.  Especially if you may need to prioritize certain purchases over others.

Property Insurance – Don’t forget that you’ll need property insurance to protect your new home and all the contents and possessions you’re keeping in it.  Speak to your local Insurance Agent for a quote and guidance on what coverages you’ll need.

Moving Costs – Whether you’re moving across town, or across the country, you’re likely to have some moving costs.  Even if you plan on doing a lot of the moving yourself, it’s a good idea to budget some moving expense to cover costs like moving truck rental, packing supplies, etc.

Buying a new home should be exciting.  It’s a new chapter of your life with nothing but opportunities ahead of you.  Fortunately, by soliciting the advice and assistance of industry experts like Real Estate Agents, Mortgage Specialists, Home Inspectors, and Contractors, you’re able to leverage their expertise to ensure you are prepared for your next adventure!

As always, we hope your home buying process goes smoothly.  If your Home Inspector does discover any issues during their inspection, please don’t hesitate to Contact Your Local Disaster Blaster! We’re always here to help!

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