Kurt Spoerle speak to spoerle

Kurt Spoerle - Realtor®
Office: (317) 566-2399
Cell: (317) 366-4000
kurt@kurtspoerle.com
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first time homebuyersDepressed home values and record low mortgage rates are luring more first-time home buyers into the market than ever.  A recent survey found that more than 78% of potential first-time home buyers say now is a good time to buy.  If you agree, be cautious not to make these 10 all-too-common mistakes!

1.)  Not knowing how much house you can afford. 

One of the first things buyers should do is talk to a qualified lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage.  Without first figuring out how much you can afford, you risk falling in love with a home you can't. 

2.)  Assuming foreclosures are great deals.

Just because the previous owner owed $450,000 on a house before the bank took it over, doesn't mean it's worth that much now.  Also, many homes owned by lenders or banks have been sitting vacant for months and may have been vandalized.  That could require extensive renovation and repair.  Weigh the costs of fixing up the property against the savings you'll reap by buying a lower-priced home.

3.)  Letting your true feelings show.

No matter how much you've fallen in love with a home, don't let the seller's agent in on it.  Otherwise, they will gain the upper hand in negotiations.

4.)  Failing to find a good buyer's agent. 

Consider using an agent recommended by a relative or friend.  Interview each candidate about their experience, if they've worked with first-time buyers before, and what kind of service you'll get from them.

5.)  Underestimating the cost of owning a home.

Whether it's a rusty pipe or a leaky roof, things go wrong and need to be fixed.  Many home buyers don't anticipate the additional costs for repair and maintenance.  Be prepared to set aside a small percentage (1% at most) of the home's purchase price annually for repairs and upkeep. 

6.)  Failing to budget for property taxes.

Property taxes and the likelihood that they'll climb over the course of your time in the home should be factored into any home-buying budget. 

7.)  Assuming your first offer will get accepted.

As home prices become more affordable, competition is bound to heat up.  You can't assume you'll walk in the home, make an offer, and get it.  Try not to get discouraged if you lose out on the first or second house you make an offer on.

8.)  Skipping the inspection.

The seller isn't likely to know there's mold in the basement or the walls are poorly installed.  Buyers should find and hire their own inspector to ensure no conflict of interest.

9.)  Doing too much too fast.

Some buyers want to make the house their own right away.  They overextend themselves on credit to do so, and assume the improvement will pay for itself by increasing the home's value.  But that's not always the case.  Instead, buyers need to exhibit patience and make changes over time.

10.)  Failing to include a contingency clause in the contract.

A mortgage financing contingency clause protects you if, say, you lose your job and the loan falls through or the appraisal price comes in above the purchase price.  Should one of these events occur, the buyer gets back the money he used to secure the property.  Without the clause, this money can be lost and you may still be obligated to buy the home. 

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