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biggest mistakes buyers are making in 2024

The Biggest Mistakes Buyers Are Making in 2024

Common Home Buying Pitfalls to Avoid

Hey, let’s be real – buying a home these days can be a total headache. With those crazy mortgage rates shooting up and home prices going through the roof, not to mention the slim pickings out there, it’s enough to make your head spin.

However, there’s a secret weapon that can save you from all that stress and hassle. I’m talking about teaming up with an Exclusive Buyers Agent who really knows their stuff. They have all the inside data to help you steer clear of the rookie mistakes that so many homebuyers are making right now. Here’s some of the biggest mistakes buyers are making in 2024.

Putting Off Pre-approval

Let’s talk about one of the not-so-glamorous but super important steps in this whole house hunting journey – getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

I know, dealing with finances and lenders isn’t exactly the most exciting part of the process. Who wouldn’t rather be scrolling through listings and dreaming about their future digs? But here’s the thing – before you can really start envisioning yourself in those potential homes, you have to get your financial ducks in a row.

Think of it this way: the lender is basically going to do a deep dive into your money situation to figure out how much they’re willing to let you borrow. It’s like getting a sneak peek into your homebuying budget before you even start looking. Pretty handy, right?

Sure, it might not be as thrilling as checking out that cute little bungalow down the street, but trust me, getting pre-approved first is going to save you a whole lot of headaches down the line. You don’t want to fall in love with a place only to find out it’s way out of your price range.

So, as tempting as it might be to dive right into the fun stuff, do yourself a favor and tackle that pre-approval process first. Once you’ve got that all squared away, you can let your imagination run wild and start picturing yourself in your dream home – without any nasty financial surprises lurking around the corner. As CNET so wisely says:

“If you wait to get preapproved until the last minute, you might be scrambling to contact a lender and miss the opportunity to put a bid on a home.”

Holding Out for Perfection

While you may have a long list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, you need to be realistic about your home search. Even though your ideal state is to find a home that checks every box, you may need to be willing to compromise – especially since inventory is still low. Plus, a home that has everything you want may be too pricey. As Investopedia puts it:

When you expect to find the perfect home, you could prolong the homebuying process by holding out for something better. Or you could end up paying more for a home just because it meets all your needs.”

Instead, look for something that has most of your must-haves and good bones where you can add anything else you may need down the line.

Buying More House Than You Can Afford

Can we talk a minute? Buying a house these days isn’t cheap. With mortgage rates and home prices skyrocketing, it’s easy to feel like you need to stretch your budget to the absolute limit just to snag your dream pad. But hold up, friends!

Before you start making promises to eat ramen for the next decade, take a step back and really think about what you can actually afford. Sure, that gorgeous Victorian with the wrap-around porch might be calling your name, but is it worth putting yourself in a serious financial bind? Probably not.

Here’s the deal – overextending your budget is a surefire way to end up drowning in stress and regret. You don’t want to be house-poor, constantly worrying about making ends meet. That’s no way to enjoy your new home!

Instead, have an open and honest discussion with your real estate agent about how those fluctuating mortgage rates will impact your monthly payment. They’ll help you crunch the numbers and figure out a budget that won’t leave you living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You might not be able to afford your dream home right out of the gate, but with some patience and smart saving, you’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, focus on finding a place that fits your needs AND your budget. Trust me, your future self will thank you.

Not Working with a Local Real Estate Agent

This last one may be the most important of all. Buying a home is a process that involves a lot of steps, paperwork, negotiation, and more. Rather than take all of this on yourself, it’s a good idea to have a pro working with you. An Exclusive Buyer Agent (they only work for buyers) agent will reduce your stress and help the process go smoothly. As CNET explains:

Attempting to buy a home without a real estate agent makes the process more arduous than it needs to be. A real estate agent can give you professional legal guidance, market expertise and support, which will save you time, money and stress. They can also increase your chances of finding the right home so you don’t have to spend hours scouring the internet for listings.”  

Bottom Line

Mistakes can cost you time, frustration, and money. If you want to buy a home in today’s market, let’s connect so you have a pro on your side who can help you avoid these missteps. Call 636-532-4200