Tours, Listings and Agents: Common House Hunting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Who doesn’t get stressed when they’re looking for a new home? Unfortunately, the stress and emotions that build-up when you’re buying a new home can also lead to some unalterable mistakes.

Here’s a review of some of the most common pitfalls and advice on how you can avoid them all.

Wasting your Time

If you’ve drawn up an interest list of 89 houses in the area you wish to move to, don’t even think about going to view every one of them. This will just be a huge waste of your time. The Internet is a great time saver when you’re house hunting as all realtors have websites these days. There you will find up to date listings with prices and full details of the property.

You will also be able to look at a photo gallery of the interior and exterior of each house. Some properties will even allow a virtual video tour.

This is a great place to begin the search for your dream home because you can eliminate your least favorite properties without ever having to visit them. You can avoid this mistake and save time by visiting and starting your house hunting online.

Going Beyond your Budget

Calculate your budget and stick to it, no matter how much more appealing those slightly more expensive homes look. If you end up buying a house that’s beyond your budget, you could end up wrecking your finances down the road and losing your home in the process.

Don’t let the real estate agent talk you into moving up to the next level. You have to have some leeway so you can be prepared for future changes in your finances and the demands on them. 

Not Planning Adequately for a Showing

Many house hunters make the mistake of scheduling too many views within a short period of time. Allow yourself plenty of time to tour each house and traveling time between viewings. Eat before you go, so you don’t get distracted by hunger pains. Wear comfortable shoes because you’re going be on your feet for a long time.

Don’t take the children. If you can’t leave them with a family member, hire a babysitter. You don’t want to have to deal with a cranky toddler when you’re house hunting.

Not Looking at Everything

Don’t be afraid to examine every nook and cranny. Some people walk through without paying full attention. This is a big mistake. Open every cabinet, closet and drawer. Look behind doors, open every nook and cranny. Don’t risk missing a thing. Look for damp spots, mold, leaks in ceilings and on tile floors. Check attic ventilation.

Have an inspector check plumbing and electric systems in case the previous homeowners have made amateur repairs that are not up to code. Take a walk around the outside of the house and check that there is no water pooling in the yard around the house, garage and any other buildings. If there is, this is a sign of inadequate drainage.

Overlooking Certain Faults

So you’ve found a house that you’re starting to fall in love with, but it has a few issues. Depending on what these are, they could be costly or even impossible to fix. Don’t ignore them. If you’re really not sure about the condition of the house, have it inspected.

If it fails to make the grade, walk away. Be patient. There are large amounts of property listings available in your area and more being added every day. Don’t make the mistake of going for the first house you like if it’s not up to par.

Dragging your Feet

When you’ve finally made a decision on a house you truly want to live in, don’t take too long to seal the deal, or you might just lose it. If this happens you’ll be back to square one and you’ll have to spend even more time searching for another house.

Buying a new home is a big and important decision and one that should be well thought out and carefully executed, but if you’re committed, you have to be prepared for the moment to take the plunge.

Just by following these simple tips you can avoid some of the worst mistakes that many home buyers make. This will save you time and money and significantly reduce the stress factor of hunting for a new home.

Archie Coles works as a real estate agent and shares his home-buying, and selling, tips around the net.


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