The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Home

Shelley Wenger
Photo byShelley Wenger at Canva

The housing market is super competitive. The rates are low, and people are ready to buy a home. They may have realized, while they were stuck at home, that their current home situation wasn’t ideal. They may also have decided that it was time to buy a home instead of renting. As more and more people flock to open houses and look at homes, the amount of homes for sale are still small. People are competing with every offer that they write. Because of this, you have to be ready to buy a home, as soon as you start looking.

So, what should you do to get ready to buy a home?

Make sure that you are ready. Before you even start looking at homes, you need to make sure that you are ready. You can do this by:

  • Know what your credit score is. If it isn’t very high, you may want to take a few months to improve it before buying a home.
  • Work on your debt. You are going to want to continue to pay your bills and work hard to pay off any debt that you may have. Lenders want to see that you are responsible with your debt before giving you a mortgage so the less debt that you have, the better off you will be.
  • Know what you can afford. Buying a home isn’t just about the mortgage. You are going to have electric, water, and sewer bills. You are also going to have telephone and cable bills. How about maintenance? You need to have some extra money set aside for any repairs that you may have to do on your home. Be realistic with how much you can easily afford to pay for your mortgage.

Meet with a lender before you go any farther. It is important that you get preapproved before you start looking at homes. If you aren’t, your offer won’t be accepted. By being preapproved, you are showing the sellers that you are serious (and ready) to buy a home. It also helps make the process go smoother because you already have all of your paperwork together and ready to go. You are that much closer to buying a home.

Be prepared to fight for your home. All good homes get multiple offers within a few days so you are going to have to be prepared to fight for your home. You may need to pay more than the asking price, just to be considered.

What shouldn’t you do?

Waive appraisals and inspections. Many people are trying to win houses by waiving the appraisals and inspections. However, this can be a bad idea because you should know as much as you can about a home before you buy it. The house may have structural problems that are costly to fix, and you would be stuck with that house because you didn’t have it checked out prior to buying it.

Pay more than the home is worth. People are also putting their own money toward a home, just so they can get it. They are paying over what it is worth, so that they can beat out the other buyers. Even if the housing market continues to go up, it is a risky move. Not only will you have to pay that extra money out of your own pocket, there is no guarantee that you will be able to sell the house for as much as you paid for it.

It is scary to buy a home, no matter what the market is like. Because of this, you need to have some people on your side, helping you through the process. You are going to need a real estate professional that you trust. You also need a mortgage lender.


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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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