When you buy a home, the experience should be one filled with excitement, happiness, and overall bliss, not one filled with leaky basements, shorted electrical circuits and concrete patching. Those who have come to know both sides of the coin either know one of two things: what went right and what went wrong. Below you’ll find seven examples of some home buyer’s biggest regrets and, hopefully, learn a thing or two about what to avoid when buying your next home.
#1: Waiting until the last minute
One of the biggest mistakes a home buyer can make is waiting until they’ve already outgrown their current living space. When you’re practically bursting at the seams, your house hunting experience can be extremely rushed. Most buyers in this situation even end up putting in an offer on a house that they don’t even like. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you don’t take the time necessary when making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.
#2: Ignoring schools even when you don’t have children
Most buyers don’t even think about the fact that schools play an important part in the home buying process, not necessarily for them, but for potential buyers of that home in the future. Also take into account that sometimes “accidents happen” and you don’t want to limit yourself to a school catch zone that might be out of your budget or preference (public/catholic).
#3: Giving in to the seller’s demands
Try not to limit yourself to a particular area where there might be very little or no choice in what you have to choose from. When you put yourself in that position, you might find yourself succumbing to a seller’s demands, for example: leaving furniture behind. You love the house but hate the furniture because it’s from decades ago and it’s too big for the little 80 year old lady to deal with so you decide to take it with the house. Now it’s your responsibility (and your back’s) to remove it at your own cost. Don’t be so quick to accept whatever someone throws your way because you might think it’ll make or break the deal of having a house in that neighborhood.
#4: Buying a house that’s too big or too small
Taking some time to think about the future instead of only what’s right in front of you can save you huge. You might not think you’ll have children any time soon, but as mentioned previously in this article “accidents happen”, but what if you do plan on having children? Maybe 3 or 4? Should you go and buy a home to fit your future family’s needs right this minute? What if things change and you decide to only have one? Most buyers who don’t take the time to plan for the future end up either having a home that’s too small and have to move again right away or too big and have more room than they need and have to buy a lot of furniture just to fill it.
#5: Not sweating the small stuff
Don’t rush through houses when you’re on showings. Remember, this is a huge decision; you wouldn’t buy a used car without test driving it first, would you? If there are things that you come across while viewing the property, ask about them. If they come up during a property inspection, ask about them. More than likely if there’s something that is a concern to you, it’s a concern for either the owner or another potential buyer, so they might as well address it now, or run the risk of it popping up over and over again.
#6: Settling on your needs
Simply put: if you need four bedrooms, get four bedrooms. Don’t waste your time looking at three bedroom homes with the potential of developing the basement, especially if you don’t have the means to do it right away.
#7: Not taking driveability or walkability into consideration
Take the time to drive through an area of a house you like. See what the traffic is like when either entering or exiting the area. If it’s something that you can live with and taking an evening stroll is something that is important to you, take it even further and walk around the neighborhood. How long does it take to get from here to there, walking and/or driving? Is there only one way in or out of a neighborhood? How long to get to your friends or relatives from where you are? How close to the nearest school? Could the kids safely walk or would I need to drive them? Any or all of these points could make living in the area you choose worth it.
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