Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Get a licensed professional home inspection.  

Whether you are purchasing an existing home or new home construction, it is essential to inspect the house. Even new homes can have defects, and an inspector will point these out. If the home builder provides a one-year warranty, it’s a great idea to have the home inspected again before the one-year warranty expires.  

Get it in writing.

Often, a seller will tell potential buyers that they will repaint the exterior or throw in the extra refrigerator in the garage. Terms and conditions are part of the purchase agreement. If it’s not in writing, it will generally not be enforceable in court.  

Check the flood map.

Flood insurance can be expensive, and the costs are rising. Flood insurance can increase your monthly expenses, so check first! Check the flood maps to see if your new home is in a flood zone. The cost of flood insurance if the property is in a flood zone will be part of your monthly housing costs. Mortgage lenders will require flood insurance once they determine the property is in a flood zone.

Get a quote for homeowner’s insurance.

Most insurance agents can give you a quote by checking the property address. Check the property address for any claims history. You will want to know how much the insurance will cost because it will be part of your monthly housing costs.  

Find out if you are responsible for additional costs.  

Many homeowner associations or condominium associations charge fees on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. These fees are typically for exterior building and ground maintenance, recreation fees such as pools, parks, clubhouses, and utilities. It’s best to determine the costs and know what services and amenities you receive for these fees.  

Search for building permits.

City and county websites can give you valuable information about the type of construction history. Be very cautious if a home has work performed and there are no government records of permits. Work performed by unlicensed contractors may not meet the building code.  

Hire a Realtor.

As a licensed real estate professional, it is my job to ensure that home buyers make intelligent choices. Well-informed buyers make wise decisions when purchasing a home. There are many moving parts in a real estate transaction. One of the keys to success is working with a knowledgeable and experienced Realtor.