1. Making an offer on a home without being pre-qualified.
Get pre qualified, it will make your life easier. Take the time to talk with a bank or mortgage representative. Their specific questions with regards to income, debt and other factors will help you determine the price range that you can afford. It is one of the most important steps on the path to home ownership.
2. Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the Internet.
Many homes listed online or in magazines have already been sold. Your best course of action is to contact a real estate agent and get him/her working for you. They have up-to date information that is unavailable to the general public and they are the best source to help you find the home you want.
3. Thinking there is only one perfect home out there.
Buying a home is a process of elimination, not selection. New properties arrive on the market daily, so be open to all possibilities. Ask your Real Estate Agent for a comparative market analysis- this compares similar homes that have recently sold or are still for sale and help establish market value of that property.
4. Not considering long term needs.
It is important to think ahead. Will your home suit your needs 3-5 years from now? How about 5-10 years?
5. Not following through on due-diligence.
Make a list of concerns you have relating to issues such as schools, power lines, crime rates, neighbours, environmental conditions, etc. Ask the important questions before you make an offer on a home. Be assiduous so that you can have confidence in your purchase.
6. Not having a home inspection.
Get a Home Inspection done. A qualified home inspector will detect issues that many buyers can overlook. Trying to save money today can end up costing you more tomorrow.