Even if it's a great time to buy a home -- homes in the neighborhood you want to be in are priced affordably, and interest rates are going your way -- you still can't go out without thinking about it ahead of time. You still need to do your homework and proceed with a plan. After all, a home is the largest purchase you'll ever make, so make sure you do it right and avoid these major home-buying mistakes.
Buying more house than you can afford -- Spending more than you planned may seem like no big deal, especially when you spread it out over a 30-year mortgage. Over time, however, those extra dollars can put a real strain on your finances. Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know exactly how much you can afford, and then stick with that figure.
Not having an emergency fund -- Remember, once you own your home, you are financially responsible for anything that needs to be fixed. With any house -- no matter how good of condition it's in -- there are always going to be expenses that you don't foresee, and therefore didn't budget for. Make sure you have an emergency savings account in case any emergency repairs come up.
Not getting an inspection before you buy -- You've looked over the house thoroughly, and so has your family, and so have all your friends. However, there still could be hidden surprises waiting for you, such as a crumbling foundation, bad electrical wiring or hidden roof damage. A house inspector's trained eye can help spot these things.
Not thinking about resale value -- Remember, you will probably want to sell your home at some point. Choose a home based on what you want, but also consider what other homebuyers are looking for. Look for desirable neighborhoods, good schools and other amenities so your house will hold its value.
Trying to do it all yourself -- Trying to buy real estate is a complicated process. You need a professional to help guide you through buying your ideal home. That's where a Realtor comes in. It just makes sense to work with an expert who is there through the whole process to help you.
Don't stumble blindly through the home buying process. Take care to avoid these mistakes and you're more likely to end up in your dream home, instead of being stuck with a nightmare.