Rookie mistakes are a very common thing for people who have zero experience in real estate. Sometimes those mistakes are not too serious and don’t make you too worried about having made a wrong choice. However, some mistakes can be quite crucial, which means that in a few years you risk feeling disappointed in your choice. Is there a way to avoid this disappointment? The answer is yes, but only if you make an effort to buy a house or apartment without making these 5 easily avoidable mistakes.
1. Not understanding your budget
If you’ve spent some time looking for your new perfect home, you probably know the approximate price of the house or apartment in your ideal range. The first thing any prospective buyer should do is plan their budget and see what they can truly afford. If you’re taking a mortgage, then your monthly payment should be considerably smaller than your monthly income – after all, you have a family to feed and bills to pay, so taking a large mortgage is going to leave you financially vulnerable. And in case you have the whole amount in cash, allocate part of your budget for repairs and renovations, because even the most flawless property will turn out to need some extra work.
2. Being too picky
It’s understandable that you want to buy only the best property available in the market, but what every first-time buyer needs to realize is that it’s unlikely that your first apartment or house will have no flaws at all. In order to not feel disappointed with your purchase, accept the fact that you’ll have to settle for something less than perfect. Since your budget is likely limited and you lack experience in real estate, sometimes the offer that doesn’t seem ideal will turn out to be the best you can find. For example, if the property in question is in an excellent condition but is located on a busy street, that’s a choice you’ll have to make as a buyer.
Of course, you can always reject one offer and go looking for another one, but be careful not to spend too much time being picky – otherwise the property prices will go up and you won’t be able to afford your dream home anymore.
3. Not working with an agent
Although you’ve probably heard stories about real estate agents being dishonest to the buyers and knowingly pushing them for a wrong decision, those cases are fairly rare. However, the help from a real estate agent can be crucial in your buying process, especially when you lack the skills and experience to look for the right property and closing the deal on your own. A professional real estate specialist will take you through every stage of the buying process with minimum risks and concerns for you, so you just have to make the final, most important decision, instead of worrying about the minor stuff.
4. Letting your emotions decide
A purchase as serious and major as buying your first house or apartment should be the most rational decision you ever make in your life. Instead, first-time buyers often allow emotions to do their decisions for them, and experienced real estate agents know this and use it to their advantage. It’s a very common occurrence when a potential buyer is so charmed by certain aspects of the property he’s viewing that he refuses to notice any imperfections or obvious red flags.
For example, the owner can spend a couple thousands naira on renovations, but end up increasing the price by hundreds of thousands just because the property looks nicer than before. You can end up either overpaying for your home, or making a rushed decision that will definitely disappoint you later.
5. Compromising too much
We’ve already talked about the importance of remaining realistic while shopping for property and learning to compromise when needed, but first-time buyers often fall into a totally different trap – they start saying yes to everything, especially when their partner or real estate agent are pushing them for a decision. For example, when you start looking for a three-bedroom apartment to accommodate your big family, but then a two-bedroom house catches your attention, don’t be too quick to change your mind – consider how that change will affect your living situation and plans for the next few years, and if the change is not worth it, avoid making that compromise.