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The 6 Most Frequent House-Hunting Mistakes

When searching for your new home, whether it's located in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Martinsburg, or Harpers Ferry, you'll no doubt be filled with feelings of joy and excitement. This can be a terrific experience, but if not approached correctly, those emotions can quickly turn to stress and worry. The following are the most common mistakes made by Shepherdstown home buyers. We at the Kable Team are here to help you avoid them!

1. Not Checking Your Credit Report

  • You wouldn't walk into a battle unarmed, so don't walk into a bank empty-handed. Walking in knowing how much you think you can afford and your credit score will go a long way in making the conversation well-directed and one of substance. Pulling your report months ahead of your home search also allows you to tidy it up to make sure you get financing at the best possible rates.

2. Overspending on Your New Home

  • Using that credit report and a few other factors such as debt-to-income ratios and tax documentation, the lender will begin finding a justifiable loan amount. However, sometimes lenders approve applicants for much more loan than they can truly afford. You'll need to come up with a long-term budget that outlines how much home you can actually afford while still allowing for savings. It's easy to fall into the trap of splurging on your new home, but eventually the new bills that come with it will not be worth it.

3. Not Seeking Professional Representation

  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) may be acceptable in a lot of arenas, but home buying should not be one of them. Considering the magnitude of the process and how it can be a proverbial minefield, going it alone may end up costing you a lot of extra time and thousands of dollars in the long run. It can't be stated enough how much stress you'll avoid by going with a professional real estate agent. From matching homes to your wish list to traversing a 70-page contract, your agent will fast become your best friend. Also remember that most sellers have representation, so why shouldn't you? "This team is the definition of professional - everyone knows the market intimately, cares for clients compassionately, and delvers results beyond expectation. Amy Stoehr"

4. Skipping the Home Inspection

  • Some sellers will play on your anxiety to find your new home and match that with their urgency to get the home sold to you. In this haste, they'll advise you to forego the home inspection altogether as it's not truly required. DON'T DO THIS. Skipping the home inspection can be one of the most devastating mistakes you could make. At face value the home may look great, but it takes the trained eye of a home inspector to know exactly what red flags to look for. Otherwise you may be purchasing a home that will need a ton of improvement and soon on your dime.

5. Not Researching the Neighborhood

  • You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive. Make no mistake about it, when you buy a home you're also buying the neighborhood. So go "take it for a spin." Visit the community several times, varying when you do it to make sure you have great idea of your neighbors and how it all feels at different times of the day. The neighborhood could be perfect at noon and a nightmare at 8 PM. You need to know this ahead of time. Also note if your street would be private or have a high amount of traffic. If there are children in your household, this is definitely a key consideration.

6. Being Too Strict on Your Wish List

  • There's a difference between your dream home and the perfect home. Unless it's being built from scratch to your personal specs, you'll probably have to accept the fact that finding the perfect home on your wish list is extremely challenging. It may not even be possible in the areas that you're searching. Itemize your wish list into two categories: needs and wants. First search for homes that satisfy all of your needs, and as you find them you can then begin determining which of those homes have some of your wants. Don't get stuck searching for a perfect home that may not exist.

Let Us Help You Avoid the Pitfalls

Home buying can be a wonderful experience when you have the right team around you to help you avoid some of the common errors we just discussed. There is a lot that can go wrong if you don't have the experience to navigate this process! We have the resources and experience to help you through every step of the buying process. When you're ready to find your new home in Shepherdstown, contact us at (304) 725-1918 and let us partner with you to make it happen.