The purchase of your home will probably be the biggest purchase of your life. The decision of which house to buy should not be made lightly. After all, you’re going to spend years of your life here and once you make your purchase you can’t just return it like you would anything else. Here are 6 tips to help you become a wise home buyer and avoid home buyer’s remorse.
1. Make a Wants/Needs List
Before you even start shopping for homes, make a list of which features you’d like to have and which features you must have. Give your Realtor a copy of this list so he or she only shows you homes that have all of the features on your “needs” list. No house is going to have absolutely everything on both lists, but making a wants/needs list will help you know which features you’re willing to settle on and which ones you aren’t.
2. Visit the Home Multiple Times
Have you ever made a purchase in a store and you get that purchase home and it’s not really what you thought it was? Well that can happen with a house too! What you believe to be the perfect home the first time around may not seem so perfect the next. Make sure to visit the home you are considering at least twice to ensure that you really do love it. If it’s in an unfamiliar neighborhood or street, it may be good to visit at different times of day so you can observe things like traffic patterns, noise levels, lighting, and neighborhood activity.
3. Don’t Take Advice from Anyone and Everyone
When it comes to big life decisions, it seems like everyone has an opinion. Your family, friends, and co-workers probably have your best interest at heart, but they aren’t real estate experts. And no one knows what will make you and your family happy like you do. It’s okay to hear people out, but don’t let your loved ones sway you into choosing a home that you know in your heart isn’t right.
4. Have a Budget and Stick to It
No matter how much you love a home, if you can’t afford it you won’t love it for long! Remember, once you buy a home you’ll need plenty of cash flow for things like furniture, repairs, upgrades, utilities, taxes, insurance and so forth. And no matter how much you love your home, you’ll want to go out from time to time. If you go way over your budget, you’ll find yourself sitting in a camp chair in your living room on Saturday nights.
5. Be Informed About the House You're Buying
Does the house need a lot of repairs? What are the average energy costs of the home? Are the appliances staying or going? When was the last time the roof was replaced? You’ll want to know as much about the home as you can. Make sure you read the seller’s disclosure and inspection reports. Knowledge is not only power; it eases anxiety and decreases the chances of bad surprises down the road.
6. Choose a Trustworthy and Knowledgeable Realtor
Purchasing a home is a stressful undertaking in the best of circumstances. Throw in an inexperienced real estate agent that isn’t helpful or dependable and you have yourself a recipe for disaster. Your Realtor should act as a guide during the home buying process. He or she should help you to follow the tips listed above and be there to answer any questions that may arise.
Have you ever experienced home buyer’s remorse? What steps could you have taken to avoid home buyer’s remorse?