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In this information age, the process of buying a home isn’t shrouded in mystery. There is enough information available online for those who wish to research the complete home buying process.

However, there are still some common traps that buyers inadvertently fall in to. This short article will help you avoid those mistakes and help you navigate your way toward a stress-free buying process.

1) Not having your finance in place

Making sure you can finance a purchase should be your first step. What you think you can afford and what the bank is willing to lend could be completely different. Avoid the disappointment of losing your dream home by seeking pre-approval.

Note – For those who are self-employed or who have fluctuating income it’s prudent to speak with a mortgage advisor or lender months prior to starting your search.    

2) Being unclear on your budget

In some cases, whilst a lender or advisor will inform buyers how much they can lend, it’s the responsibility of the buyer to decide how much they can actually afford. Make consideration for your lifestyle and plans for the future. If you would like to have spare money for holidaying or would like to pay your mortgage off before retirement, you should make sure your budget reflects.

3) Being desperate

If you’ve been looking for a while or you’re not seeing anything you like, it’s easy to become desperate. Remember the transaction costs to re-sell can be costly, but so are alteration and renovation costs should you decide to stay put. Consider temporary accommodation if needed, it will give you better flexibility (not to mention a better bargaining position) if you simply cannot find something you love.

4) Overlooking important flaws

For the reasons mentioned above, it’s common for buyers to overlook important flaws. Be mindful that some defects can be difficult, expensive and some, impossible to rectify. Consider your options before you commit.

5) Overestimating your handyman skills

Be careful not to buy a fixer-upper that’s more than you can handle in terms of finance, time and ability. If you start work and realise the project is beyond your capabilities, you may end up spending an abundance more hiring a professional. In turn this may take the property outside of your budget and in some cases, beyond what you would return should you need to sell the property.

6) Rushing to put and offer in or dragging your feet

Finding the ‘goldilocks’ point to submit an offer in is difficult because its forever changing. In a hot market, you may need to act quick to secure your dream home, however, don’t forget to do your due diligence. Make sure you drive the street at different times of the day, make sure the neighbourhood feels safe and always take a night to sleep on it.

As mentioned above, it’s a tough balancing act. If you opt to drag your feet in a slow market, you could miss out on your dream home. Be mindful that sellers have no obligation to wait for you. If somebody submits them a suitable offer and it means they can secure their dream home, they may not wait for that extra £2,000 you were going to offer.

7) Falling in love

You’ve barely got through the front door and you’re already dreaming of Christmas in front of the fire, Your partner’s picturing the BBQ’s on the patio. It’s happened, you’ve fallen in love.

Of course, finding a home you love is the aim of the game, but try to remain objective. Discuss defects with professionals, honestly assess any work involved and be mindful that only one person can buy the home, the disappointment of losing a home can be painful.  

The Bottom Line

It’s natural for your emotions to get the best of you need to ensure you are making rational choices throughout. In summary, when it comes to buying a new home, take your time, overcome your emotions and, ultimately, make a decision that’s good for both your feelings and your finances.

Matt Housley - Residential Sales 
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