Buying a home isn’t quick, easy, or cheap, and all of that is even more true today than many points in the past. First-time homebuyers don’t necessarily know what they’re getting into. It’s not necessarily their fault, but they tend to be overly optimistic about finding their dream home. And it’s because some common beliefs that first-time homebuyers have about the buying process are simply not true at all.
Buyers tend to think that the perfect home is out there somewhere, and they just need to find it. Once they do, it’s all but theirs. The reality is that finding a home that ticks every single one of your boxes is exceedingly rare. If you do manage to find it, it probably ticks all the boxes for someone else as well, and you’re going to need to fight for it and probably pay more than you wanted. Those who can’t seem to find the right home for them also tend to think the custom construction option is always available. Well, you’re still going to need to find a qualifying plot of land to build it on, and it’s going to be expensive and time-consuming.
Too many first-time homebuyers think they have the process all figured out, and don’t do enough homework or seek the help of professionals. The first call you make should be to your bank to figure out what you can afford. Proof of funds is essential to submitting a competitive offer, and a good agent won’t even show you properties if you don’t have a mortgage pre-approval letter, unless you can demonstrate an ability to pay cash. Even buyers who expect to pay cash may want at least a pre-qualification letter in case they go over their expected budget. Buyers also tend to forget about repairs, thinking everything is going to be dealt with by the seller once the inspection happens. But sellers aren’t required to make repairs unless they’re in order to conform to legal code, nor are they required to be the one to pay for them. That needs to be something you discuss with the seller, who may make some concessions, but probably not all of them.