If you are a first time homebuyer, it’s easy to make very expensive mistakes during the purchasing process. Instead, take this opportunity to learn from the missteps of others, so your first time home buying experience goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some common lessons to learn from other homebuyers:

Evaluate what you can really afford both now and in the long term

It is possible the lender will tell you that you can afford more than you really can comfortably afford. Remember, you will need to pay for taxes, insurance, home improvements, and furnishings for your new home. You need to have money budgeted to accommodate these expenses. Consider your personal situation. Will you be looking to buy a car in the near future? The lender is not aware of your planned future purchases. If the lender approves you for $100,000 consider buying a house closer to $80,000 to safeguard your financial security.

In addition consider the long-term future. Will you have children? If so, you will need to factor in paying for daycare or potentially reducing family income so one parent can stay home with the children. Do you want to save for private school or college for your children? What about your own retirement? Consider leaving yourself the ability to save some money or take on new expenses.

Don’t be afraid to look at the details of the house

It may feel strange to open the closets and cupboards and look under the bed when you are in someone else’s house but you have to get past your politeness. If you buy this house, you will own every aspect of it. If the pipes leak into the cupboard or the house has a major infestation you want to know that BEFORE you buy. When you are looking at homes look at every detail. It is also wise to request a home inspection prior to purchase. You will want to know if the home requires thousands of dollars of repair before you sign on the dotted line as opposed to finding out after you have moved in.

Talk to the neighbors before you buy

Neighbors can really make or break your homeowner experience. If they have dogs that bark at 5am or loud parties that last until 2am you will want to know before you make the purchase. When you are at the house to check it out. Feel free to walk over to the neighbors and say hello. See what kind of impression you get. Ask the neighbors about other neighbors to see if there is any neighborhood battle going on. It is likely if one neighbor has a dog that barks incessantly, it will not only disturb you but is also currently disturbing the rest of the neighborhood.

Buying a home is exciting. It’s easy to think “Wow, the lender approved us for a huge mortgage and this house looks perfect” after a 10 minute walk-through. Buying a home is a huge commitment in time, money and your life. All of the details need to be completely evaluated. What level mortgage are you comfortable with, regardless of what you have been approved for? Have you really closely evaluated the house and the neighbors to make sure this is the house you really want? At 1st Alliance Lending, we would be happy to help you through the first time home buying process. Contact us to learn more.