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5 Important Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Starting the home buying journey is a very exciting time. Heck, you probably feel like a kid in a candy store!

Whilst that's a good thing, this probably also means that you're distracted, which means you might not even consider the fact that you could lose the home before you have even bought it.

What?! Eh?!

Well, even though there are certain elements impacting the home buying process that can't be avoided, such as a bad market, most of the potential curve balls are actually pretty easy to anticipate (if you're prepared, that is).

Here are a few mistakes that you should avoid making when buying a home:

#1 - Choosing a bad real estate agent

This could potentially be detrimental to the outcome of your home purchase. Just call it real estate suicide.

For starters, your agent should be expertly qualified in the field and should actually be your partner in purchasing a home; not just 'be your real estate agent'.

Unfortunately, many agents are poorly informed and they are only out to make a quick buck instead of giving you decent guidance and professional advice.

When choosing a real estate agent, interview them first and ask hard questions that you want to get answered. And if they are offended, they’re very likely not the right match for you!

Avoid hiring cheap agents, regardless of their experience.

Once you have signed with an agent, stick with them and let them lead you along the journey.

#2 - Ignoring professional advice

If you knew everything there was to know about real estate, you wouldn't be reading this article, would you?

Accept the fact that you don’t know everything and embrace the opportunities you have been given in order to receive professional advice.

Your real estate agent is your number one source of information: use him/her!

If you want to do independent research start by looking up information online (remember to only visit credible real estate sites), read real estate books, or hire a lawyer so that you can understand the aspects of real estate law.

#3 - Picking the wrong neighborhood

You must be sick of hearing this but the golden rule when it comes to real estate is: location, location, location.

You are not going to be happy in a beautiful mansion if it's on the wrong side of town.

There are a few things that you can do in order to determine whether a certain area is bad or not. Check the local crime statistics, talk to neighbors before you buy, and walk up and down the neighborhood during different times of the day to get a feel for it.

#4 - Saying no to home inspections

Another big one you want to avoid: when home inspections are available or offered, you should definitely take advantage of them.

Every home has its 'own little secrets' that only a professional home inspector will be able to identify.

How are you going to spot problems if they are hidden in the ceiling or inside the walls? Of course, it is going to cost you a bit extra, but rather pay for an inspection now than pay for unexpected upgrade or maintenance a year or two along the line, right?

And yes, you may even be able to negotiate a lower price if significant faults are found.

#5 - Depleting savings account

The age-old question is always: how much should you spend on a new home? The answer is simple: as much as you can afford.

Sure, you should have a savings account ready which you can use as a down payment on a home, but if you have to start borrowing money from family members or have to charge future house maintenance to credit cards, then you are spending way too much!

If you feel tempted to tap into that retirement fund, don’t even think about it. Your 80-year old self will definitely scold you for it.

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Xavier De Buck

Xavier is a real estate agent from Johannesburg (South Africa), who's passionate about the property market, technology and the synergy of both! You can read his updates on his blog HomesinJohannesburg.com. Make sure to connect with him across any social media platform!

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