10 biggest home buyer’s mistakes

If you’re a first-time home buyer, chances are you have your dream home in mind. You’ll be looking for a house that caters to your needs and located in an area you like, but that will also fit your pocket.

But it’s not always possible to step into the property market and immediately buy the home you have your heart set on. That’s why many first-time home buyers start small and gradually build their way up.

SA Home Loans knows all the insecurities, questions and financial worries that come with buying property for the first time. That’s why our friendly staff are well qualified to lead you every step of the way – making buying your home as effortless as possible.

While we do all the paperwork and sort out your bond, you can take the time to go out and find your perfect house. Learning from commonly made errors can save you some grief in the long run. These are the 10 mistakes first-time home buyers make:

Mistake 1: Not doing your homework.

Knowledge is power. The internet provides an unlimited amount of information right at your fingertips. Do your research and enter the market prepared. This extends to choosing your mortgage. Many home buyers allow the estate agent and/or a bond originator (both of which get a handsome commission from the bank) to choose a home loan provider on their behalf. Rather shop around and go directly to the provider you feel most at home with. This could save you money in the long run.

Mistake 2: Choosing a bad location.

Even if you choose a good neighbourhood, a poor location could be a problem. For instance, think twice if it’s right next to a busy intersection. There’s a reason “location, location, location” is the mantra of everyone giving advice about home buying. While you may think you’re getting a lot more house in a less sought-after location, its value is unlikely to increase as quickly as those in better areas.

Mistake 3: Overlooking a poor floor plan for a picture-perfect exterior.

It may look impressive from the street, but if the inside of the house is impractical you won’t enjoy living in it. And the likelihood is you’ll soon be spending a lot of money to alter it.

Mistake 4: Not keeping your family’s needs in mind.

What lifestyle is your family accustomed to? If you never use a formal dining room and separate sitting room, you may be happier in a house with a cosy eat-in kitchen and open-plan living area. Decide what best suits your family’s needs.

Mistake 5: Trying to make a clever investment.

While you must be sure that you’re making a good investment, don’t buy a home that doesn’t suit your requirements or one that you’ll outgrow too quickly. Remember that transfer costs will eat into any profit you hope to make by buying and selling too quickly, so make sure you choose a house that fits your needs for the foreseeable future.

Mistake 6: Not having a thorough inspection done.

You want to make sure no nasty surprises coming out of the woodwork. Have the property inspected by a qualified, respected professional before you sign the sale agreement.

Mistake 7: Not checking the builder’s reputation on a new home.

Talk to at least three people who live in homes built by your chosen contractor to see if they have any complaints.

Mistake 8: Settling for second best because you’re impatient.

Buying a house is a big decision. Take your time, so you don’t regret a hasty decision in the future.

Mistake 9: Waiting for a better market and interest rates.

There will always be a reason NOT to invest in a home. But the pros of buying your own property far outweigh the cons, so stop procrastinating and take the first step on the property ladder.

Mistake 10: Not buying at all.

If you can afford a property and don’t make that purchase, you won’t be able to start building home equity and reap the benefits when that property’s value increases.

For more helpful information for home buyers, have a look at the articles and guides in our Advice Centre.

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