First Time Anxieties
First time home buyers come with their own set of common anxieties. As a long time real estate agent I recognize the need to listen more, inform more, share more, and guide more, than with a client who has bought and sold a number of times.
Overpaying for a house
A major concern of first-time buyers is the price. Are they paying too much? Are they stretching themselves too far? In the current brisk real estate market, most buyers are aware of what’s happening and the challenges they face, but when the time comes to move forward, that uncertainty kicks in.
The best remedy is to do your homework. Discuss in detail with the mortgage professional the overall costs of purchasing, and look closely at your own budget and consider other expenses you have. Keep in mind that the monthly mortgage expense remains stable (except for property taxes and insurance) over the years while most people’s income increase, so the burden of that house payment decreases over time.
Not getting their dream home
Every buyer has a wish list when looking for a new home, and they want that next home to be ‘the one’. A home on the market for sale may have many of the desired features, but no home will have everything. The important thing to keep in mind is that you as the new owner can personalize and change the home to best suite yourself. While the location can’t be changed, the local amenities can’t be changed, and some other features., so many things can be, such as; colors, surfaces, a bathroom can be added, outdoor space can be expanded, and so on.
Home buyers should never ‘settle’ for a new home, but see every home as a great opportunity to make it as unique and special as they choose.
Missing out on an opportunity
This concern comes up in a more subtle way. Sometimes buyers are not quite ready to start their search but with an active market they worry about missing out. Sometimes during an active search where they have a strong need or desire to move, they worry about choosing a new home and then finding out later that a better one came on the market.
For each and every home buyer, there comes a time when they just get a feeling that it is time to make a move – sometimes it is a dissatisfaction of their current place, perhaps the family is growing, maybe the current job has become more secure, or something similar. It is time to listen to the inner voice and focus on your end goal.
Finding problems with the house
No place is perfect, every home has problems, but hopefully the one you fall in love with doesn’t have too many! Probably everyone has seen a HGTV show where the seemingly model home turns into a disaster. Well, that makes for good viewership, but maybe things were a bit exaggerated!
There is no guarantee that there will not be surprises, but there are a few things that can be dome to protect from the unexpected:
- Have a thorough home inspection, and this could include specialists for pools, chimneys, structure, and wells.
- Carefully read the seller disclosures. Sometimes they can provide a bit of insight into what has been done to the home and or dates of improvements and systems.
- Review any building permits for the home that may be available in the municipality
- Have your real estate agent pull up any past sales of this property to how the home looked before, and any comments or details that would be of interest.
Overwhelmed by the process
There is a lot that goes into the process of buying a house. Yes, referring back to the shows on HGTV again, one might think that all you need is to sign a few times on an offer, and then you get the keys to the new home. What many home buyers fear is what they have heard from others. Maybe their friends or family members have had issues in buying a home, and often the worst stories are told and retold, while the transactions that went without a hitch are often not discussed.
There are many steps in the process. There are other parties involved, such as inspectors, the lender representative, the closing or settlement contacts, and so on. An experienced agent will be your advocate, navigating and guiding through the process. At times the agent is a coach, other times a mentor, and often even a cheerleader. Always ask as many questions of your agent as you want, and don’t think you are being unreasonable. A small unanswered question can blossom into a lot of stress, so nip it in the bud as soon as possible.