Friday, February 10, 2017
By  Marilyn Golden

Making a mistake while buying a home can set you back thousands of dollars.

It is imperative that you step carefully, double check everything, and have a solid gameplan. In today’s housing market, home buyers need to be savvy and ready to act quickly.

You should consider buying a home like finding a job and be prepared to invest time getting everything ready so that you’re able to act when the right opportunity comes along.

Buying vs. Renting

Before we jump into our list of the biggest mistakes, we want to address a common mistake that we see a lot at International Golf Realty.

Making the decision to buy instead of rent, even though renting may be a better option for your current circumstances.

Renting may be a great option for your current situation, even if it costs a little more per month in rent. This is because while your rent is higher, you don’t have to worry about closing costs, maintenance, insurance, or taxes.

The average millennial only stays at their current job for 2-4 years. If you are planning on staying where you currently are for a short amount of time, look into the benefits of renting instead of buying.

If you aren’t sure which would be more beneficial for you, ask yourself these 7 questions.

In order to help you make the best decision for you, we have a list of our current rentals on our website here.

We also have an extensive search feature that allows you to find the perfect rental to match your needs, take a second and use it for free here.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into the common mistakes you should try your hardest to avoid.

1. Skipping Pre-Approval

The worst feeling in the world is finding a home that you love, only to find out that you can’t afford it. When this happens it doesn’t only waste time but can also cause you to miss a home that you would have qualified for.

Pre-approval is simply a bank calculation of how large of a loan you qualify for. When you understand your range, it allows you to make informed decisions by staying within your boundaries.

Sellers are big fans of buyers who are pre-approved as well. This will give you an advantage over other buyers who don’t take the time to get pre-approved by giving the seller confidence you can acquire the loan.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Get pre-approved before you begin looking at houses. We have a preferred lender at International Golf Realty that we work with. You can either visit their website here or contact us at (904) 940-9990 and we would gladly walk you through the process.

2. Being Unclear About “Wants” And “Needs”

Even though channels like HGTV make you believe that your “perfect” home is out there, for the majority of people you will have to make compromises.

If you are trying to find the dream home that satisfies your entire wish list, then you will be searching forever or paying way outside of your budget.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Make a list of your non-negotiables. Things like the right number of bedrooms for your family, commute distance, and price should be high on this list.

After you have your “needs” written out, you should be frank about what are “wants” and where you are willing to compromise. “Wants” can be things like a man cave, pool, or covered patio.

3. Ignoring The Inspection

An inspector is hired to make sure that the property you are buying is up to snuff and that there are no structural damages that could bring a surprise cost.

Too often, a buyer who is enamored with a house will ignore a negative report from an inspector in order to buy the home. Even if the house looks good, the structural integrity can be compromised and you could be buying a dangerous house. This will cost you a lot of money out of pocket to fix later on.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Either talk with your agent to find an inspector that they trust or hire an independent inspector that you believe will do a great job. A quality inspection should take anywhere from 3-4 hours and you should steer away from inspectors who guarantee a 1-hour inspection.

Make sure that you actually read the inspection report when you get it. If there are any questions raised by the inspector, then it is within your right to ask the seller to fix the issue.

4. Lack Of Urgency To Put In An Offer

Finding the right home for you and your family takes a lot of work. Home buyers will let up once they have found a great home by waiting a few days to put in an offer on the house.

We recently talked about how 2017 will be a seller's market, which means that there are more home buyers than homes for sale. Sitting for a day or two before creating an offer could mean that you miss out on the opportunity.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Create the offer the moment you decide you like the house. It’s not unusual for buyers we work with to walk a house, decide they like it, and then send an offer out 2 hours later.

Make sure that you choose an agent that will have a sense of urgency. If your agent is lazy and doesn’t want to get your offer in as soon as possible, then it could wind up costing you the house.

5. Not Hiring A Pro

This is a mistake that is becoming more and more common, but it is always costly. In our “DIY-friendly” life we often think that we can do everything ourselves. When it comes to buying a home, there is too much at stake to trust a 5-minute video you watched online.

If you don’t hire a real estate agent then you are trying to accomplish a task with your hands tied behind your back. As a buyer, commissions are generally paid by the seller, so there is no additional cost to hire a professional agent who will be able to guide you through a very intricate process.

How to Avoid This Mistake

If you are serious about buying a home, then find a trusted real estate professional in the area you are looking in. You should vet them to make sure that they are a professional and will help guide you through the whole process.

Realtors® have access to the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) which allows them to see every house for sale, and pinpoint the ones that are perfect for your needs. They also have extensive knowledge, training, and experience to help you with lengthy contracts and other processes.

Get Expert Guidance Through The Entire Home Buying Process

As we mentioned above, not having expert guidance can cost you big time. At International Golf Realty, we pride ourselves on being the local World Golf Village and St. Augustine experts. If you are wanting to buy a home in these areas, then give us a call today at (904) 940-9990.

Our agents are trained to negotiate your home to get you the best price and to steer you in the direction of homes that match your exact needs.

Visit us at to search the local houses for sale or to read more tips and tricks on how to sell or buy a home.

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