6 Common First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Purchasing real estate is always a major undertaking, but it can be especially daunting if it's your first time. Mountains of paperwork and countless steps lie between you and those coveted keys, and navigating the process can be intimidating. When buying your first house at the Lake of the Ozarks, guidance from an experienced real estate agent and reliable title company will likely be invaluable. This week, our Lake of the Ozarks title company is here to help by making you aware of some common mistakes first-time buyers make and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Only Visiting The Property Once
When you settle on the home you think you want to buy, most experts recommend that you walk through the property several times. The first time you see it, you'll likely be too caught up in the excitement of it all (or too tired from the seven other houses you visited that day) to pay close attention to the little details. Subsequent visits will give you time to examine the details and look for issues that you may have missed the first time. 

Mistake #2: Not Looking At The Big Picture
As a renter, your primary financial responsibilities are your monthly rent check and perhaps one or two utilities, such as water or electricity. As a homeowner, your monthly expenses will stretch far beyond your mortgage payment and a few utilities. You'll be responsible for every utility, along with property taxes, insurance, repairs, HOA dues (if applicable), and all the other costs of owning a home. You'll want to make sure that your mortgage payment is low enough that you can afford these additional costs.

Mistake #3: Ignoring The Inspection
The home inspection is a crucial piece of the home-buying puzzle. It will reveal valuable information about the condition of nearly every aspect of the home, and it is wise to give careful consideration to the issues it identifies. If you ignore the problems revealed in the home inspection, you'll may be shouldered with expensive repairs once the home is yours. Instead, take the time to negotiate the cost of needed repairs into the sale. If the issues are substantial or if sellers refuse to cooperate, you may choose to walk away from the sale altogether.

Mistake #4: Getting Hung Up On Small Imperfections
As you peruse potential homes, take the time to envision what the home could look like - not just what it looks like right now. Wallpaper can be removed, walls can be repainted, and floors can be redone. You may want to avoid homes that will require major remodels if your budget is tight, but try not to get hung up on minor imperfections that could be easily remedied once the house is yours.

Mistake #5: Not Knowing Your Limits
While it's true that you will probably have to make a few compromises here and there, you should know what your absolutes are. If you hate sharing walls in your current apartment complex, for example, you'll probably want to avoid condominiums where you may be able to hear the people next door. As another example, you probably won't want to settle for a house with any less than three bedrooms if you have two kids. You should be prepared to compromise on little things, but try not to settle in the areas that will significantly impact your life.

Mistake #6: Skipping The Prequalification Process
Browsing homes online is undoubtedly the fun part of beginning the home search, but it's not the first step you should take. Your time will be better spent talking to a mortgage lender to get prequalified - or, better yet, preapproved. This process allows your lender to evaluate your financial situation so that he/she can provide a realistic estimate of the size of loan you will be able to get. This information will be immensely valuable to you as you search for homes. Being prequalified or preapproved will also enhance your credibility as a buyer, which may give you a leg up during the negotiation process.

Arrowhead Title, Inc. Is Here For You!
As the buyer, you get to select which title company you wish to facilitate your transaction. If you are looking for a title insurance agency at the Lake of the Ozarks, we hope you'll consider Arrowhead Title, Inc. Since we first opened our doors in 1984, we have worked with countless first-time buyers to help them purchase the homes of their dreams. We would love to help you do the same!

The Lake of the Ozarks' Most Trusted Title Company
Where Accuracy Matters!

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750 Bagnell Dam Blvd Suite B
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


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