All Women's Talk

8 Common Pitfalls to Avoid when Buying a Home ...

By Alison

There are countless potential pitfalls in buying a home. Since this is the greatest financial commitment any of us will ever make, it pays to be sensible and cautious. But it doesn´t just pay in the financial sense. It´s smart to avoid mistakes when buying a home, because of what it means to us emotionally to have a place of our own. So watch out for these pitfalls when buying a home, and you´re much more likely to make smart decisions.

1 Hurrying

Are you tired of renting and longing to get into a home of your own? Have you seen the perfect house and want to put in an offer before someone else bags it? Step back and THINK. You are at risk of making one of the worst mistakes when buying a home – rushing in and not taking time to consider every angle. Your perfect home may not be as perfect as it first appears. NEVER buy in a hurry, and never let anyone push you into making a commitment before you are certain.

2 Short-Term Thinking

Always take a long-term view when buying a house. Think about your future plans – would you like to move cities, start a family, run a business from home, or might you want to have space for elderly parents? It´s foolish to buy a house if you plan to stay there for only a couple of years – the costs of moving are substantial.

3 Compromising

Living in the ´wrong´ house can make you really miserable. Sure, it´s highly improbable that you´ll find a house that ticks all the boxes for you, so you have to decide what matters to you most (say, less space to live in your preferred area). But don´t compromise on the wrong things – if you´re a city person, then moving to a rural area to get more space will not work for you.

4 Thinking with Your Heart

This is another of the most common pitfalls in buying a home. Don´t get carried away by romance. However much you trust your partner, make sure that you have good legal advice and that your share in the home is protected. Too many people have lost a small fortune because a relationship went wrong - don´t take the chance of being one of them.

5 Overstretching Yourself

As many people have learnt to their cost, overstretching yourself financially is one of the most deadly mistakes when buying a home. It can ruin your credit rating, and even mean that you lose your home. Don´t buy a house that you can´t afford to keep up – and don´t even be tempted to lie in order to obtain a loan.

6 Not Doing the Math

Similarly, make sure that you do the math when looking into a house purchase. Have you taken into account every fee you will have to pay during the buying process? What about property taxes and other running costs? Think also about how you will manage if you have to cope on one wage through job loss or starting a family.

7 Lack of Research

While you can´t be 100% sure of avoiding any problems with a house purchase, many issues can be avoided by doing your research. Are there any major construction projects planned for the area? Have the owners been involved in any disputes with the neighbours? What is the area like at night? Check out as much as possible if you want to minimise the chances of unpleasant – and expensive – surprises.

8 Penny Pinching

Never be tempted to cut corners when buying a house. Saving a few hundred dollars here and there could cost you a lot more in the long run. While it´s annoying if you spend money on surveys but end up not buying the house, it would be a lot worse if you didn´t have a survey done, bought a house, and only then discovered it needed a small fortune in essential repairs.

There are countless potential mistakes when buying a home; it´s lovely to own rather than rent, but it´s essential to make wise decisions, keep a cool head, and be smart with your money. Remember that you will spend a lot on maintaining the home and paying mortgage interest, so choose carefully. Have you learnt the hard way about any of the pitfalls in buying a home?

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