Buyer Mistakes When Buying a new Home or Condo

Without proper guidance and education, it is very easy to make mistakes buying a new home or condo. Here are the most common mistakes you can avoid.

Buying a Home / Chris

Buyer Mistakes When Buying a new Home or Condo

Buying a new home or condo with the Listing Naples Group is a really fun and rewarding experience. But, there are traps along the way that we’ll keep you from hitting. Do not make one of these serious mistakes or it could potentially cost you your next home!

Overextending Your Finances and Becoming “House Poor”

Remember that when you are buying your home, your mortgage isn’t going to be the only expense you face. Your insurance, taxes, and maintenance fees will all factor into your monthly expenses. Here in Naples, you’ll likely be paying Homeowner’s Association (HOA) fees or condo fees as well.

I always caution my buyers to take a long look at what they’re approved for from the lender and factor in the additional costs to avoid being “house poor.” When too much of your monthly income is going toward housing, it will will really cripple your lifestyle.

You Might not be a Handyman

First time buyer plumber mistake
“We could take this wall down.”
“We could rip the carpet up and lay laminate flooring.”
“All this kitchen needs is for the cabinets to be painted.”
“There should be a door here instead of the wall.”
“We should add recessed lighting.”
“This vanity would have to go and we could put in updated ones.”

Sound familiar? HGTV has made every person feel like a handyman. How hard can these things be? The answer? Hard if you don’t know what you’re doing!

Sure, you can watch YouTube videos on how to lay laminate flooring but do you really have what it takes to do it yourself? Should you really mess with the electrical system in your house to add recessed lighting? Chances are, you should hire a handyman or contractor for the job. When buying your next home or condo, really evaluate whether or not these easy projects are going to really be easy for you to do on your own or if you need some money saved to hire someone to do it for you.

Not Shopping for a Mortgage

Not all lenders are equal so getting quotes from more than one lender is very important. Lenders are more than happy to run your numbers and tell you what they have to offer. The two lenders I recommend for this are Tori Juran and Lauren Maxwell.

I hear buyers routinely say, “I don’t want them all to pull my credit and lower my score.” Good news! It will not lower your score. When applying for a mortgage, you have 30 days in which you can have as many lenders as you’d like run your credit and it will not count as multiple pulls!

Applying for Credit Before you Close on Your Home

You’ve found your house, your offer has been accepted and you’re on your way to closing in 30 to 45 days! Do not buy anything! We’ve seen the horrors of buyers applying for credit to buy furniture or trading in a car for a new one all while waiting to close and guess what? That can make you not qualify for the loan you’re approved for. As a rule of thumb, do not make any large purchases before you close on your new home or condo.

Making a Large Down Payment That Isn’t Enough

The more you put down on your next home, the lower your monthly payment is going to be. That’s easy enough to understand. The issue I see is that sometimes people will put down a little more than the minimum required down payment. Or, they’ll put down something like 10% when the minimum is 3.5%. In those situations, I’d rather see you keep the money you have in the bank for emergencies or needed repairs down the road. You can always pay down your loan early if you decide that’s what you want to do. However, if you’re not putting down 20% on your home to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), I’d rather see you hang onto your money. Speak to your lender though and get a second opinion.

Spending all of your Savings on Your New Home

I never want to see my buyers empty their bank accounts to purchase their next home. Buyers save for their down payments and sometimes purchase a home right when they have just enough. It’s great to hit the down payment mark in your savings yet you need to have more money left in the bank in case something happens. What if you purchase and an appliance or air conditioner goes out? It can happen and you need to be prepared!

Not Getting a Full Property Inspection

When you’re about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your next condo or home, do not skimp on your home inspection. An inspection isn’t that expensive yet adding on septic, mold, radon and wood destroying organism inspections can up the price quite a bit. That said, it’s worth it.

Ignoring Your Needs and Wants List

When you’re buying your next home or condo, I highly advise making a needs and wants list. Once you have it, stick to it! Do not make an emotional decision because you find a home online that is really great in one aspect yet doesn’t meet your needs and wants. For example, if you really want to have a single family home in Golden Gate Estates yet you find a home in an HOA with a really awesome layout and kitchen, stop and really think about how that will change your lifestyle. You’ll love the home but miss out on the land, privacy, etc.. I think it is very important to explore what’s out there but if you ignore your needs and wants list, you’ll have buyer’s remorse later.

My Final Thoughts

It’s really easy to make mistakes when buying a home if you do not have proper guidance. I take a lot of pride in being an honest Realtor® that would rather show more houses that are fits instead of nodding my head and allowing someone to make a mistake that will affect them for years to come.

All of these mistakes above can be avoided very simply with the right guidance. When I follow up with my customers after they’ve purchased, I always hear them say that they love their new home or condo. Many of these customers nearly went astray and made one of the buyer mistakes above yet with some frank discussions they avoided a trap.

We’re always looking to work with new buyers so please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. Remember that most of the buyers we work with are 9 to 18 months away from making a buying decision! Even if you think it is too early, send us an email, call or text and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

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