First-time Home Buyer Mistakes

First-time Home Buyer Mistakes

Hi, this is John from The Downs Group and today we’re going to talk about my two top first-time home buyer mistakes.

I work with a lot of first-time home buyers, and over the years I’ve seen them make a lot of mistakes. Of course, we try to do everything we can to steer you away from making a regretful decision. Sometimes I can. Well, sometimes you’re just going to do what you’re going to do.

But the two things I want you to watch out for are:

Mistake #1:  Putting Too Much Money Down

In a way, that doesn’t make too much sense? If you put a lot down, you have a lower mortgage payment and typically better interest rates. So what’s the problem with that? Well, you must ask yourself two things.

First, do you have that family “what-if” account that if something happens such as a medical event, a car breaks down, kids’ tuition.  Do you have money to fall back onto just in case those things arise?  It can be difficult to get access to your equity once you put that money down!

Next is try figuring out what else could that money be doing? For instance, it could be invested in something like a stock, or a mutual fund. And maybe the long-term gains on that investment will far outweigh the tax-adjusted mortgage rate that you’re paying.

Mistake #2: Not Buying Enough House

Now, I’m not trying to push everybody out there and say, buy the biggest house you can. That’s not our goal. Our goal is to make sure that when you do buy a home that you’re buying something that’s sustainable and it really fits your goals not just for today but for two, three, four, five, ten years from now, whatever that is for you and your family.

Many people do not slow down to budget based on things like tax savings. A year later, they give me a call and say, “you know what, John, we can afford more. We want that bigger house.” But unfortunately, you can’t control markets. Interest rates can be higher and property prices can be higher. 

Just recently I had a client that was looking at a house for $600,000. But a year later, they wound up going back to look for those same-type houses and they were $750,000. So of course, that doesn’t always happen, but it could.

These mistakes happen because people get an idea in their head and then start shopping based on that idea. Unfortunately, most loan officers are trained to give you rate options based on what you asked for and to make those look as attractive as possible, hoping to gain you as a client. And next thing you know, you’ve railroaded yourself down one single path. Now, I don’t want to say no one, but most loan officers are not going to challenge you the way we do at The Downs Group. So try to stay open to considering all options, and be careful that you don’t get yourself stuck.

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