You’ve decided to buy a new home. Eek!
Buying a new home is a big, exciting investment. It’s the opportunity to find the house that fits youand your family just right.
Don’t let the excitement of new home distract you from some serious red flags.
Read these 5 steps in buying a house and be prepared to walk away from a newly built dream house that’s actually a nightmare.
5 Overlooked Steps in Buying a House
Here are the top steps that house hunters overlook when they stumble upon their dream house. You need to take these specific steps and check these items off the list before you sign any contracts.
1. Know Your Criteria Before You Start Shopping
Before you get swept away by a beautiful one-bedroom in the downtown area, you need to get your must-haves and deal-breakers in order.
This means having a serious sit-down to decide on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need. If you’re planning on having kids in the future, a one-bedroom won’t work for you for long. If you are sensitive to street noise and will want a backyard for a garden, living in a condo downtown won’t make you happy for very long.
Think about longer term goals and how your life may change in the next couple of years. Then form a list of things you cannot live without, and things you never will live with.
2. Check for Neglect
The house may look shiny new in the pictures and during the open house, but take a minute and do a serious check of the place for signs of neglect.
Is the HVAC system rusty? Did they light candles in every room during the open house to mask a musty smell? Did they place pictures and furniture strategically to cover issues?
Check the roof for missing shingles. Check the basement for moisture. Find out what’s lurking underneath the carpeting.
3. Touch Everything
Turn on every faucet, open every window and close every door in the entire house. It’ll be annoying to the realtor, but it’ll give you a better idea of the shape of the house.
You’ll know exactly what you’re walking into as far as replacements and repairs that need to be done.
4. Get an Independent Inspection
When buying new builds in particular, people fail to get the home inspected. For a couple hundred dollars, you can save a huge headache down the road.
Just because it is brand-spanking-new does not mean that there are not structural problems and other major issues.
Even if the house is not a brand-new build, don’t give up your right to an independent inspection. It’s your leverage for negotiating a better price.
5. Get a Pre-Approved Loan Before You Start Looking
Much like making a list of your must-haves and deal-breakers, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will limit which homes for sale you even bother to look at.
Knowing what you can afford will ensure the dream home you fall for is a feasible option for your finances.
Find Your Dream Home
Making sure you don’t skip any steps in buying a house. These steps are part of the process because they protect you as the buyer. They make sure you end up in your happily-eve-after home.
Looking for more tips and tricks to avoiding a nightmare? Check out our article on common mistakes for first-time home buyers.