(1) I think the top mistake to make is to make an offer on a home without being prequalified. Your lender will ask you questions concerning your income, debt, etc that will tell you what price range you can afford.
(2) When you're searching for a home, don't limit yourself to open houses and listings on the internet. Find a qualified Realtor, because they may know of homes coming on the market soon that are available to the general public. AND, given your needs, they may know of a different neighborhood that meet your requirements that you're not considering.
(3) Choosing the right Real Estate Agent can make all the difference in your experience. There are Realtors who are not committed to forming a strong relationship with you and are just concerned about their business volume. A good Realtor will ask you questions, find out what your needs are, and help you find something, no matter how long it takes, that will work with your situation. Interview a few before making a decision!
(4) One of the things buyers think is that there's that One Perfect House out there. Buying home is a process of elimination, not a selection. Things like flooring and wall color can be easily changed to be made into your perfect home.
(5) It's important to think ahead when choosing a home. What will you need in 3 to 5 years? Will you have aging parents that may move in? Even little kids now turn into growing teenagers, and will the living space fit those growing kids?
(6) Please purchase adequate insurance. Saving a few dollars now can be a huge mistake if you need to use that insurance. Talk to a qualified insurance agent who can answer all your concerns and help you make the right decisions.
(7) Depending on the home you buy, it is a good idea to have a home protection plan. They cover those basic repairs that you may encounter once you're in the home, and if the seller doesn't provide one, it can be purchased for a nominal fee. They usually last for your first year of home ownership.
(8) Early in the buying process, please ask your Realtor or lender for an estimate of what it will cost to close on a home. This will be the money you will need to provide to close on the home. No one likes a surprise, and you definitely don't want to be ready to close and find out your don't have the available funds needed. It has happened.
(9) As a buyer, you should make a list of any concerns you do have concerning the property you are considering, like crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbors, environmental conditions, etc. Ask all of our concerns BEFORE you make an offer on a home. Be diligent so you can have confidence that you are choosing the best home for you and your family.
(10) Once you prepare an offer, it's a HUGE mistake to skip having a home inspection. Trying to save a few hundred today can cost you thousands later. If an inspector finds something, it's possible that you can negotiate with the seller.
I am always glad to help anyone who is thinking about buying or selling a home. If ever have any questions concerning the home buying process, please give me a call or email me! I'm more than happy to help!