No matter how knowledgeable you are about the home buying process, no matter how many articles you have read, or real estate pros you have talked to, there is more than likely going to be at least one thing in the actual buying process that takes you by surprise.
That being said, it is still always a great idea to know as much as you can about how the home buying process works before buying a home. This will help to make the process as smooth as possible.
Here are 5 Things that can catch Even the Most Prepared Home Buyers Off Guard
Home Buying Can Take a Toll on Emotions
Purchasing a home at any time can be nerve-wracking on many different levels. Purchasing right now especially is finding more buyers in a much stiffer competition, and it is a good idea to be prepared for the fact that it is rare for a buyer to have an offer accepted on the first home they are interested in.
When you put an offer on a home, it is not because you might kind of be interested in living there. It is most likely because you can see yourself living in the house. You are not going to offer a very large sum of money on something you don’t love.
Falling in love with a home and making an offer on it, only to be told the offer wasn’t accepted can be a big discouragement. It is tough, but try to hold homes you make an offer on with a loose hand. Expect to have to “fall in love” with a few different homes before you find the one where your offer is accepted.
Making Compromises is Normal Right Now
Finding a home that all people living in the home agree upon and want to spend the next five to ten years or more, in a neighborhood you would like to live, for a budget you can afford to pay, is a little bit tougher right now with a continued low inventory of homes for sale.
The home you end up purchasing is most likely not going to have all of your dream features inside. Make sure to sit down and write out a list of must-haves and needs in your next home. Make a list of things that would be nice to have, but you can make do without by finding the silver lining in the situation.
For example, if you have a dog and you want a large fenced-in backyard for them to roam free, you may have to settle for a yard that is not fenced in but allows for a fence to be built at some point. Or a home within walking distance to a dog-friendly park.
Keep a Strict Watch on Financial Items When Home Buying
Another aspect of purchasing a home that can require a lot of details and scrutiny is the mortgage approval process. Since the housing crash of the not-so-distant past, banks are making sure to do their homework on who they lend money to.
Right now a loan applicant should plan to not make any large purchases or move any large amounts of money between accounts while in the application process. And do not open or increase any line of credit of any type.
Some borrowers have been put under the microscope for simply moving the money for their down payment from one account into another so that all the money is in one place. This sends a red flag to a lender that you might have received the money to make your down payment in a way that is not legally accepted. This can set your loan process back several days while they request solid proof of where the money came from and all the fine details behind it.
Even something as small as purchasing a new cell phone that might add a measly $15 a month to your phone bill can send a red flag. It’s better to hold off on these items until the loan has closed.
Be Prepared for Added Expenses
Most often there are extra expenses to homeownership and home buying that are not often openly addressed in the home buying process. Such as the fact that you will now have to pay property taxes and this is an extra cost added to your loan.
Property tax can have a significant impact on the monthly cost of a home and can vary greatly from city to city. Make sure you are not just focusing on the list price of a home and what interest payment a bank is offering. Take into account the local property taxes and other items like the cost of homeowner’s insurance.
Be Prepared to Expect that there is Going to Be Something Unexpected
In the current crazy climate of finding a home to purchase and having your offer accepted is the possibility for many crazy unexpected hiccups to happen. Right now it is not uncommon for something to happen where a home seller needs to delay the final closing date of the sale and delay a buyer’s ability to move into the home.
Some homes are seeing closing delays for something as crazy as the sellers purchasing a home where the owners split up during the process and one of the owners decides to go on vacation without signing the necessary paperwork to sell the home to the people who are selling you one.
This is why it is so important right now to have an expert real estate agent on your side helping to look out for your best interests.
For more information on purchasing a home in St. George and surrounding areas, please contact me at any time.