10 Giant Mistakes Buyers Make When Buying a Home

Buyers make these 10 mistakes every single day. This is your first step to ensuring you don’t fall victim to these common pitfalls.

1. Not choosing an associate who is committed to forming a strong business relationship with you. Making a connection with the right professional is crucial. Choose an agent who is dedicated to meeting your needs – not only before, but also during and after the sale.

2. Not getting prequalified before writing an offer on an Edmonton home. Prequalification will make your life a whole ‘lot simpler. Take the time to speak with bank or mortgage reps. Their qualified evaluation of your income, financial obligations and other variables will help determine a price range that will fit your budget. This is one of the most important steps on the path to owning your very own Edmonton home.

3. Not knowing the total costs involved. Early in the home buying process, ask your real estate agent or mortgage broker for an estimate of closing costs. All expenses including title insurance, homeowners association dues and prepay responsibilities should be considered. Remember to examine your settlement statement prior to closing.

4. Not searching beyond open houses, ads or the internet. Many Edmonton properties listed in magazines or on the internet have already been sold. Your best course of action is to contact a real estate agent. They have up-to-date information on the Edmonton market that is unavailable to the general public, and are the best resource to help you find the home you want.

5. Not considering alternatives for what you think is the perfect home. Buying a home in Edmonton 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 to provide a comparative market analysis for information about other available Edmonton homes.

6. Not contemplating long-term needs. It is important to always think ahead! Will the home and the terms of the mortgage suit your needs in 3-5 years? How about in 5-10 years? Plan, plan and plan some more.

7. Not following through on due diligence. Make a list of any concerns you have relating to the home and the community, such as crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbours and environmental conditions and don’t forget the amenities. Ask the important questions before you make an offer on a property. Be diligent so that you can have confidence in your purchase.

8. Not having a home inspection. I will always recommend an inspection. There are far too many potential problems that are invisible to the naked eye… Trying to save money today can end up costing you tomorrow. A qualified home inspector will reveal potential issues that may affect your purchase decision. Your real estate agent should be able to hand you a list of quality inspectors.

9. Not examining insurance issues. Nobody likes paying for something they don’t need, nor do they enjoy missing out on specifics that should be included. Consult an insurance agent to make sure you choose the policy that best fits your needs.

10. Not purchasing a home warranty. This is essentially a mini isurance policy that usually lasts one year from the date of sale. It typically covers the repair of a home’s major systems and appliances, and can be purchased for a nominal fee with the option to renew annually. Talk to your agent to help you find the right home warranty.

Remember to refer back to this list to make sure you don’t overlook anything. Your agent should be more than aware of all of these things. However, it is a wonderful idea to educate yourself. A diligent buyer is a happy buyer.

Mark Kamprath

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