If you are buying a home in Albany, Leesburg or Southwest Georgia avoiding these simple 8 mistakes can make your home buying experience more enjoyable and increase your buying options:

Not Getting Pre-Approved Before You Shop

The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a house that is way out of your price range. Avoid this heartbreaking experience by getting a fully underwritten pre-approval for a mortgage. It’s important to know what you can afford and what the mortgage payments will be. A competent mortgage broker can figure this out for you. Knowing what you can afford will also make your decision process much easier and help you make a comfortable offer. Being pre-approved also makes your offer more credible to a selling party and can prevent losing out in a tight competitive real-estate market.

Only Talking to One Lender

Many new home buyers get approved by a single lender and get caught up in the excitement of being able to buy a home and jump on it. Unfortunately, limiting yourself to one lender or broker results in tunnel vision and could cost you potentially thousands of dollars. There are many players in the home mortgage marketplace and the more you shop around – the more opportunities you have for securing a better mortgage. Many responsible mortgage brokers often recommend that you talk to at least three different loan sources to gain better insight on what’s available before you make a final decision. On many mortgages you can put as little as 3 %. Some government-insured loans require 3.5 percent down or zero down, in some cases. Plus, check with your local or state housing programs to see if you qualify for housing assistance programs designed for first-time buyers. Make sure you check out government-insured loan programs backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA loans) and U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA loans). You never know how much you might very well save. What do you have to lose – except money?

Not Seeking Advice from an Experienced Professional Realtor

Even though today is the information technology age with an abundance of information available online, you should still seek the advice of an experienced professional realtor early in the home-buying process. Why? Realtors can educate you about the entire home buying experience. They are very knowledgeable about who to consult, getting a home inspection, negotiating contingencies and who would be a good attorney for closing and signing. Realtors can give you valuable information on price ranges of homes in neighborhoods, information on public schools, mortgage lenders, types of loans and current interest rates, etc. A realtor can be another set of eyes in locating exactly what you are looking for. Finding a realtor, you trust and are comfortable with is a very important aspect in having a pleasant buying experience instead of a nightmare buying battle.

Trying to Move Too Fast

Buying a home can be a very complex process, particularly when you get deep into the mortgage process. Jumping on the first home you see and rushing the home buying process can wind up costing you more in the long run. Many times, new home buyers don’t plan far enough in advance for purchasing a home. Rushing the home buying process means you might be unable to save enough for a down payment, cover all closing cost, address items on your credit report, or make sound informed best decisions.

Many professionals recommend that you plan out your home purchase at least one year in advance. Remember, it takes more time to repair poor credit reports, settle outstanding balances and still save for a sizable down payment. All these things will work toward boosting your credit score and put you in a much better position when you do start looking for that perfect dream home.

Buying More House Than You Can Afford

It’s very easy to get lost in the lights and fall in love with homes that might stretch your budget or exceed it. Overextending yourself is never a good idea and with home prices still rising that is easier said than done. Buying a home that exceeds your budget can put you at higher risk of losing your home if you fall on tough financial times. You’ll also have less wiggle room in your monthly budget for other bills and unexpected expenses. In stead of overextending yourself focus on developing a sound budget. Consider all your current obligations – including those that don’t show up on a credit report when determining what kind of payment and how much house you can afford. Remember, just because you can get qualified for a $500,000.00 loan in today’s market – doesn’t mean you can afford one.

Miscalculating the Hidden Costs of Home Ownership

New home buyers often underestimate the ancillary cost associated with home ownership. A home comes with property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, hazard insurance, home warranty insurance, mortgage insurance, repair/maintenance cost, etc., which will cost you thousands of dollars. Not having adequate finances to meet all these needs and ensure you can maintain a “rainy day nest egg” can quickly wreck your finances.

Your realtor or mortgage broker can quickly help you crunch numbers on these expenses to help you plan. Make sure you shop around for insurance coverage’s from multiple agents to compare competitive quotes. Next – most experts recommend that you set aside at least 3% of your home’s purchase price annually for repairs and upkeep. Buying your first home comes with the need for sound fiscal management practices and a sound comfortable realistic budget. Without these – you may very well find yourself in a situation where you have buyer’s remorse after purchasing your home.

Making a Purely Emotional Purchase

Buying a home is one of the biggest lifetime milestones most of us will ever achieve. A home is that special place that is yours. It is a place for dreams, memories, and families are born. It is very easy during the home buying process to get too “attached” to a house that is not yours and make a totally emotional decision. This is especially true in a strong sellers’ market where demand exceeds supply and it takes longer than usual to find what you are looking for. Many new home buyers also get caught up in such circumstances and making an emotional rather than an informed investment decision can often lead to not only overpaying for a house but also stretching your budget to unreasonable lengths. Sure, you have found a home that meets all your requirements and you love the home. But what about the community it is in? How far is it from your workplace? What sort of traffic runs through or near it? What sort of crime statistics does the area have? Is it Safe? Is it conveniently located for your lifestyle? Is it convenient for public transportation? How do the present homeowners in the neighborhood interact with each other? Truth is, there many variables you need to carefully consider other than just liking the house before you pull the trigger and buy any home.

Never Drain Your Savings

Many new home buyers make the mistake of draining their savings to make the down payment on a new home. Draining your savings is never a good idea and places you in a very vulnerable situation should unexpected expenses suddenly occur. Make sure you have enough money for a down payment and still be able to maintain a fair amount in your savings account. Again, making a sound budget and sticking to it reduces the risk of financial disaster.


When you have found that home and you are ready to have it inspected – call Sentry Home Inspection Services Today!