Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Five things to avoid doing before buying a house

Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

Buying a home can feel a lot like going into a well-decorated battlefield: but there are some issues that we often aren't warned about. For example, is it okay to buy the first house you see?  Should you aim for the top of your budget?  Be careful; these five things could make your first home-buying exercise a mistake.

Don't simply accept the asking price.

This rule applies in buying cars, going to car boot sales, and of course: buying houses.  If you see a home you adore, and the market is suitable for it: barter!  Try to get the price lower, and pay attention to details like repairs that are needed or past flooding to use it to your advantage. This is one of the most important steps to buy a house. If you’re unsure about being able to negotiate, work with an appointee or estate agent who has some practice in this skill.  Although they might not be able to get you the house for 90% off, these are trained negotiators who will do anything to get the sale so they can to earn their commission from you.

Don't wait to get approved for your loan.

The worst feeling you can have when house hunting is to find your dream home and then have someone swipe in at the last minute while you're waiting for your loan to be approved.  It's okay to window shop a little, but when you're ready to buy a house, make sure you start the loan application process. There are many banks and brokers that offer loans as well as personal finance companies like SoFi (, who you can explore when you're ready to get started with the loan process for your new home.

Don't underestimate the size of a project.

The most significant mistake many first-time homebuyers make is thinking they can handle any project that comes their way. Taking out a wall might look easy and fun on HGTV, but if you don't know how to check if a wall is load-bearing or if it's got electrical or pipes in it: don't do it on your own!  Many home buyers get their homes and then procrastinate the projects long enough to become the next homeowner's projects.  Don't let that happen to you.  If you see a project you're unsure about hire a professional who can do the job properly and safely. 

Don't fall for the first house.

This happens a lot for younger first-time home buyers. They'll find a beautiful Victorian home or fall for a classic ranch-style, and just because it's the first house they've seen, they'll think it's the perfect place for them.  Although this can happen, and it's okay to buy that first house, it is equally important to check a few properties to compare. 

Don’t buy more than you can afford.

Although lenders are careful not to lend out more than they think someone can afford because it's a hassle to get that money back: they also don't know every part of your financial circumstances.  If you know that things are tight right now while you're paying 1500 a month on your apartment, don't try to make yourself think a 1450 a month house payment is much better. Check your finances well and make sure you have budgeted for bills, mortgage, repairs and have money to live on each month that include maintenance and groceries.

Carefully comb through your finances, and ensure that you don’t commit to more than you can  comfortably afford. That means avoiding going too big and considering moving further out from metropolitan areas to get the house of your dreams.

There are many things you need to consider when house hunting, do check out my other posts in the series Buying your own property:

Are there are tips you can share with me about purchasing your property. Please do share in the comments below.

*collaborative post

1 comment:

  1. All great points - lots of thought needed especially the practical stuff


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