10 Common House Shopping Mistakes to Avoid in Spruce Grove

Are you shopping for a new home in Spruce Grove? What an amazing time in your life! Finding a new home can be exciting and inspiring.

However, these positive feelings can quickly turn south if you invest in the wrong property. Making house shopping mistakes can lead to financial turbulence, domestic stress, and general unhappiness.

We don't want to see that happen to you or your family. Buying a new home should be a purely wonderful experience.

If you want your house-hunting process to go smoothly, follow along as we address some of the most common mistakes made by buyers.

1. Skipping the Preapproved Process

When you decide you're ready to look for a new home, the first thing you should do is get preapproved for a home loan. Skipping this process is one of the worst house shopping mistakes you could make. Many buyers believe they're in tune with their finances and can get approved for any loan they want.

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. For example, if your credit score isn't as good as you think, you could end up getting rejected when you put an offer down on a house.

Furthermore, preapproved offers are more attractive to sellers. They know that the offer placed by the buyer has substance.

A fast and simple online preapproval will tell you exactly how much money you can get approved for. This will help you narrow down your search field by shopping for homes in the right price range.

2. Not Accounting for All the Costs of Homeownership

Once you get preapproved for a home loan, you can move forward in the house-hunting process. However, before you start looking at homes, you need to consider all the costs of living in Spruce Grove and being a homeowner.

First, buying a home entails more costs than taking out a mortgage. You also need to account for:

  • Realtor fees (sometimes paid for by the seller)
  • Closing costs (sometimes paid for by the seller)
  • Inspection and appraisal costs
  • Furnishing your new home
  • And more

Once you move into the home, there will be monthly and yearly expenses that come with the territory. If your new home falls under a homeowners association, you'll need to pay monthly or yearly HOA fees. Other costs of homeownership include:

  • Homeowners insurance
  • Utilities
  • Services (internet, cable, phone, etc.)
  • Property taxes
  • Yearly maintenance and repairs
  • Etc.

Failing to account for all of these expenses is one of the most devasting house shopping mistakes. Facing the reality of these costs could place you and your family under financial strain.

3. Thinking You Can Get By Without a Realtor

If you're like most homebuyers, you've probably weighed the pros and cons of working with a realtor. On the one hand, you could save money by searching for a home by yourself. However, there are many pitfalls one can fall into when buying a home without a realtor.

Furthermore, local realtors bring a lot to the table. They've spent years living in Spruce Grove and know the area well.

They can help you find the right location based on your needs. They can provide insight into the local school districts, neighborhoods, service providers, amenities, etc.

An experienced realtor will also have valuable contacts. These include other agents and service providers you might require, like contractors, lenders, insurance agents, and more. Lastly, realtors will be able to help you place an offer and negotiate for better terms with the seller.

4. Not Assessing Your Priorities

One of the worst house shopping mistakes is thinking short-term. Before you set out hunting for homes, sit down with your family to assess your priorities.

What are you looking for in your new home? What features are most important to you and your family?

Think about your long-term wants and needs. For example, if you know your family is still growing, you'll want to look at options for houses that provide plenty of space. You'll want extra rooms and bathrooms you don't necessarily need right now.

If you have dogs or plan to have them in the future, you should be looking at Spruce Grove houses with big backyards. If you currently have dogs, you might want a house with a yard that's already fenced-in.

Additionally, think about your lifestyle. Do you like entertaining guests? Do you need a large kitchen and dining room for hosting dinner parties?

5. Passing on the Home Inspection and Appraisal

When touring homes, it's easy to get excited and want to place an offer immediately. However, the offer you place should be contingent, hinging on the results of an official home appraisal and inspection.

A home inspector will walk through the home to evaluate its condition. This includes the home's major structural and functional components. They'll point out any concerning issues or damages.

Based on this information, you can lower your offer or request repairs or renovations. Then, the seller will decide how they want to proceed.

Before finalizing your offer, you should make sure the value of the some is accurate. An official home appraisal will give you the most accurate valuation based on the current real estate market.

Having these evaluations done will provide you with peace of mind. Just as importantly, they're probably required by your lender before they'll sign off on the home.

6. Choosing a Home in the Wrong Neighborhood

Settling for a home in the wrong neighborhood is one of the most common house shopping mistakes. While a home might seem like a perfect fit, it will be a source of stress and contention if it's in the wrong location.

While looking at your options for houses, think about your commute to and from work. Additionally, think about what school districts your kids will have access to based on the neighborhood you choose.

You also need to consider your proximity to important amenities and services. This includes grocery stores, hospitals, parks, playgrounds, etc.

Fortunately, there are plenty of homes for sale in Spruce Grove. Your options won't be limited.

7. Getting Emotionally Attached

One of the house shopping mistakes most buyers are guilty of is falling in love with homes too quickly. It's fun to tour homes and imagine our future lives there.

However, this type of daydreaming leads to an emotional attachment. We fall in love with homes before knowing if they're the right fit.

Then, when something happens that precludes us from getting the home, it's devastating. You can avoid this by keeping a level head. Don't allow yourself to get emotionally attached until the inspection is over and negotiations are well underway.

8. Not Knowing When to Pull the Trigger

An important lesson in house hunting is learning when to put your offer in on a house. If you're too indecisive, it could cost you the perfect home.

It can be difficult to choose when looking at your options for houses and comparing house prices. However, if you're too slow on the draw, another buyer could come in and make an offer while you're trying to decide.

If the market is hot and houses are selling quickly, you can't afford to make this type of error. With the help of your realtor, learn how to make quick decisions and make an offer.

9. Not Being Willing to Negotiate With the Seller

Buyers and sellers alike can be stubborn when discussing real estate. The seller wants to sell the house for as much as possible. Conversely, you want to purchase the house for the lowest price possible.

The key is coming to terms somewhere in the middle. Don't make one of the worst house shopping mistakes of getting entrenched in your first offer. Be willing to compromise (within reason) to secure the right house.

And remember, there are more things to haggle over other than the price alone. For example, you could ask the seller to pay the closing costs and/or realtor fees. You could also request certain updates or repairs.

Finally, consider asking the seller to leave a few things behind. This includes appliances, TVs, decor, window treatments, etc.

10. Making Financial Decisions During the Closing Process

Finally, let's talk about common house shopping mistakes that occur during the closing process. Just because you and the seller have come to terms and agreed on a contract, it doesn't mean you're out of the woods.

The closing process can take 30 to 60 days. During this time, you need to maintain the status quo of your finances. Any changes to your financial situation could disqualify you from the pending home loan.

Mistakes to avoid include:

  • Charging up a credit card
  • Applying for a new credit card
  • Taking out a personal loan
  • Buying a new car
  • Using credit to buy furniture for your new home
  • Etc.

We also recommend holding off on any career changes. If you get a new job, the lender will cancel the home loan until you can provide proof of your income. This usually means three to six months of pay stubs.

Want to Avoid the House Shopping Mistakes Listed Above?

There are amazing benefits to living in Spruce Grove. The school systems are fantastic and the neighborhoods are peaceful. If you're looking for a home in this town, be sure to avoid the house shopping mistakes listed above.

And when you're ready to get the ball rolling, we're here for you. Contact us today to get in touch with one of our experienced realtors. We would love to join you on your journey toward finding a new home.

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