When you’re ready to buy a home, you must know the potential hazards that can pop up and kill your deal. Fortunately, a little attention to detail and thorough planning can save you from the heartbreak of a bad buy. Here are seven of the most common:
- Last-minute shopping sprees: It’s not uncommon for buyers to make big-ticket purchases just before applying for a mortgage or after pre-approval. But beware because this can ding your credit score and ruin your chances of getting approved.
- Changing jobs: If you’re in the process of buying a home and you switch jobs, your mortgage lender may get cold feet. That’s because they like to see stability regarding employment history. So if you’re thinking about making a career change, it’s best to do it after you’ve closed on your home.
- Not drilling down deep on seller disclosures: When you’re buying a home, the seller must disclose details pertaining to the property’s condition. Sellers must disclose, so you’re well within your rights to ask after anything which seems unreasonably unexplained. But beware because some sellers may not be entirely forthcoming. So be sure to have your agent review the disclosures carefully before you move forward with the deal.
- Not clarifying which appliances/fixtures come with the house: Before buying a home, ask the seller which appliances and fixtures are included in the sale. Otherwise, you may be surprised when you move in and find that the washer and dryer you thought were included are missing.
- Forgetting about HOA dues: If you’re buying a home in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association (HOA), be sure to factor in the monthly or annual HOA dues when budgeting for your new place. These can add up, so you’ll want to be prepared.
- Not securing a preliminary title report: A preliminary title report is a document that outlines any potential liens or encumbrances on a piece of property. This is important because it can help you avoid buying a home that’s not free and clear. Be sure to work with a reputable title company to get this done.
- Insurance surprises: Homeowners’ insurance can be expensive, so it’s vital to get an estimate of what your policy will cost before you buy a home. Is the house in a flood plain? Will your rates be through the roof for hurricane or earthquake risks? It’s worth investigating early on in the process to either avoid purchasing the home or budget accordingly.
I like to help buyers navigate the home buying process smoothly, armed with all the knowledge they need to find the right home at the right price. Pay attention to the details, and work with a reputable agent and title company to help you through the process. If you keep these potential hazards in mind, you’ll be much less likely to have your home buying deal go sour.