Buying a home is a big deal, and when you start on your house hunt you’ll likely find plenty of advice waiting for you. Whether it is a friend or relative, be on the lookout for bad advice. Some of the worst advice could ruin your purchase, your finances, or worse.
Stretch your budget
Some people advocate buying as much house as you can afford, but that is a completely wrong approach. Instead of looking at what you can spend, look at what you need and base your buying decision on that.
Owning a home often costs more than first time buyers realize. Between mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, there is plenty to blow your budget. If you find a home you enjoy below your means, by all means buy it. It’s no fun to have a big house and no money to decorate, travel, or live the rest of your life.
A decade ago the entire United States economy went into crisis as millions of borrowers that bought homes they couldn’t afford lost their ability to keep up on mortgage payments. Learn from their example and avoid spending more than you can afford.
You should always buy a fixer upper
A fixer upper can be a good option for some buyers. If you know your way around a house or have experience in real estate, you can probably spot the quick repairs and upgrades to quickly increase the value of a home, but not everyone has that skill.
Real estate TV shows make fix and flips look easy and fun, but there is a lot of risk involved as well. Depending on where you live, a fix and flip may require hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there is no guarantee you will sell the house for as much as you spent to buy it and update it.
Unless you have real estate experience, can do the work yourself, or plenty of wiggle room in your budget, you are probably better off buying a home that is move-in ready and only has a short list of small upgrades to meet your needs.
Ignore the schools, you don’t have kids
Just because you don’t care about the local schools or other neighborhood amenities doesn’t mean they don’t influence the value of a home. If you want a home that has a good value and will hold its value for the long-haul, schools are an important consideration.
All three homes I bought, I looked at the schools before buying. In one case, at my old condo in Denver, I actually shared an alley with the local school district’s main office! In that case, I couldn’t ignore the schools if I tried!
Keep in mind that you will sell the home someday, and it is most likely the people who buy the house will care about some local amenities that you don’t care about. Keep that in mind when choosing a home.
You don’t have to take anyone’s advice
You don’t have to listen to your parents advice. Even if they have the best of intentions, they may not always know your local market. A “helpful” friend might guide you the wrong direction. Just remember you don’t have to listen to anyone’s opinion but your own.
If you don’t know anything about buying a home, having a quality agent is more helpful than any advice from family and friends, and an agent can help you filter out the worst advice so you just focus on the good.
If you don’t know where to start, AgentHarvest has you covered! We offer a listing of vetted agents you know you can trust when you buy or a sell a home. Before you start your home search, you need the right agent. Find that agent at AgentHarvest.