Plan ahead – Don’t wait until you’ve found a home to get approved for a loan. The more you have done before putting in an offer, the more attractive your offer will be to sellers.
Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit too small. The kitchen may be perfect, but the basement is unfinished. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on those things that are most important – number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage or not, etc.
There’s no “right” time to buy. If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going. You run the risk of letting those factors lose the house you want.
Don’t ask your Dentist for his (or her!) opinion. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many opinions from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Remember, people love to recount horror stories, and these will not be helpful in your process. Rather, focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be living in the home.
If you try to be a killer negotiator, you may just kill the deal. Negotiation is definitely a part of the home purchase process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or refusing to budge may cost you the home you desire. Let your realtor guide you, and actually listen to their guidance.
Remember your potential home doesn’t exist in a bubble. Don’t get so caught up in what the house looks like, that you actually forget about important issues such as nearby road noise, distance from town, winter access, and other aspects that will have a big impact on your quality of life. Many of those things cannot be fixed, so be sure to look at the “Big Picture” when purchasing a home.
When taking on this journey of discovery we call “House-Hunting”, be sure to choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation (potential re-sale value). A house is considered your biggest investment, but its most important roll is as a comfortable, safe place to live – a “Home”.