Ten ‘no-nos’ for the home buyer

There are several things that should be avoided before purchasing your new home. If you aren’t careful to avoid these common mistakes, it is possible that your closing will be delayed or even cancelled. Your observance of the following rules will put the keys to the house in your hands quickly.

1 Don’t buy that new car

First, don’t damage your debt to income ratio by making a major purchase before closing. If you decide you can’t live without that brand new BMW, you might have to wait on owning a home. The bank could easily determine that your sky-high car payment would hinder your ability to pay your mortgage. Wait until after you get the house to do some spending. No one expects a brand new house full of furniture and a sports car in the driveway unless you are a famous sports figure or JP McManus.

2. Don’t job hop

Don’t change jobs if you don’t have to. The lenders like to see consistency versus constant job hopping. If you are just miserable with your job, maybe you can switch to a different job within the same field. Or you can tough it out until you have the house and then start putting out CVs.

3. Don’t pay deposits to owners

You should never hand over your hard-earner money to a ‘for sale by owner’ seller. There isn’t anything stopping the sellers from spending the money before the transaction goes through. If the deal should fall through, you would have to fight tooth and nail to get that deposit back. Any deposit in this situation should be paid only to the solicitors and this should only be handed over to the vendor when the transaction is finalised. Your contract needs to state what will happen to the deposit in the event that the transaction falls through.

4. Don’t be guided by your heart

Never let emotions guide you. Stay practical and realistic during the home buying process. Some sellers are willing to fix some of the problems with the home and others may not be as willing. Don’t let that refusal close the door on your dream home. Conversely, you shouldn’t let your attraction to the home blind you to costly repairs down the road. You certainly don’t want to be in a money pit.

5. Don’t forget the utilities

Don’t forget to have the utilities switched over. The electricity, phone/broadband, or gas providers might need a few days to switch the service and don’t forget to cancel the service at the old house. That seems simple enough, yet many people forget that step entirely.

6. Get insurance

Another costly mistake might be forgetting to secure insurance. Talk to your insurance company right away because the lender will want to see proof of coverage for the new home at closing. Failing to line up the insurance will lead to delays in closing.

7. Don’t get personal

You should not get too personal with the seller. After all, this is a business transaction, so it should be treated professionally. If you get into too many personal discussions, you might say something that could be taken the wrong way by the seller. You might have been joking about the ugly green carpet in the guest bedroom, but the seller might have taken that as offensive. In the end, it could hurt the dynamics of the transaction. You should be friendly, but professional.

8. Keep calm

If the valuation comes in too low, don’t freak out. There are several solutions to this dilemma. The seller might be willing to come down on the price of the home. You can put more money down if are committed to that home. Or another valuation can be carried out.

9. Talk to the agent

Don’t forget to talk to the agent. Although in most cases, the agent is working on behalf of the vendors, it is not counterproductive to this loyalty for them to iron out any matters that may arise. In fact, it can be very beneficial to the smooth progress of the transaction.

10. Keep the paperwork straight

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your end of the deal. You must be on the same page as the bank or building society. Provide them with the paperwork they need and answer their questions in a timely manner. Failure to do so will keep you from opening the front door of your new home.

These are some of the most common mistakes home-buyers make. Educating yourself about the process will ensure a smoother transaction and a definite housewarming party. For more tips on home-buying, contact Healy Hynes, REA Hynes, Athlone on (090 ) 6473838 and ask for their free tips booklet.

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