The Most Frequent First Time Homebuyer Errors







You probably did it—you saved for a down fee and shutting prices, labored in your credit score rating, decided how a lot home you’ll be able to afford, bought pre-approved, and have become a primary time homebuyer. We’re exhausted simply itemizing all you’ve achieved! You ought to be pleased with your self—very pleased with your self.


Pat your self on the again, however don’t throw away the great, accountable habits that you just used to avoid wasting as much as purchase a house. You wish to shield the true property funding you’ve labored so laborious for by avoiding frequent homebuyer errors…notably inside the first 12 months. 

Although this record isn’t exhaustive, it does comprise the commonest errors and the way to keep away from them—which is important when shopping for a home.

1. Buying Too A lot Too Quickly

Your first time homebuyer bills don’t cease as soon as escrow closes. That is very true if you happen to’re transitioning from an condominium to your first single-family dwelling.

You’ve bought your month-to-month mortgage fee, HOA dues, property taxes, and personal mortgage insurance coverage (if relevant), positive. However there are different prices of homeownership as properly. Personalizing, modernizing, and redecorating, anybody?

Oh, and also you’ll want extra furnishings to fill all that additional house. That $3,500 leather-based couch would look so good in the lounge, wouldn’t it?

Possibly it will, however that cash would additionally look actually good in your checking account. Leaping into too many purchases or renovations too quickly could be a pricey mistake. When shopping for a home, you’ll be able to’t merely decide how a lot home you’ll be able to afford. The prices of homeownership embrace furnishings, upgrades, and repairs that have to be within the finances as properly. 

And we all know what you might be pondering: “However I’ve bought a bank card for that!” A bank card can definitely assist when cash is tight, however that’s one of many traditional first time homebuyer errors: pondering that a bit of plastic will remedy every part.

When you have got the urge to make use of a bank card, simply bear in mind how diligently you labored to get your credit score in good condition to start with. You don’t wish to throw that out the window when the fake leather-based couch is one-third the value, proper?

2. Neglecting Your Credit score

There’s a purpose we’re spending a lot time speaking about credit score. It’s really easy to throw warning to the wind when you’ve closed on your own home. 

Fortunately, this is among the best first time homebuyer errors to keep away from…when it’s in your radar. Properly, we’re placing it in your radar now. Not solely do you wish to keep away from spending recklessly, however you additionally wish to consciously deal with your credit standing within the course of.

That entails paying off your month-to-month bank card balances in full—or, if that isn’t doable, no less than charging as little as potential. Whenever you do have to make use of a bank card, all the time use the one with the bottom rate of interest.

Remember that as your debt climbs, so does your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). This rating is necessary if you happen to is likely to be seeking to finance different objects sooner or later, like a automotive, a ship, or perhaps a second dwelling. 

You may as well shield your credit score by holding your present accounts open (aka don’t shut any bank cards). On the identical time, you don’t wish to endure extra credit score inquiries, so additionally don’t open any new credit score accounts. 

Cautious budgeting may also stop you from happening a spending spree together with your bank card. This is a vital behavior now, as you must consider all of your housing prices and your own home mortgage on high of your typical month-to-month spending.

3. Not Anticipating Supplemental Property Taxes

You understand that you must consider property taxes when figuring out how a lot home you’ll be able to afford. This notion typically goes out the window, although, if you obtain the primary invoice in your property taxes and it appears to be like quite a bit decrease than you had anticipated.

You simply bought a windfall, proper? Flawed. You’re about to stroll into one of the frequent first time homebuyer errors. 

APM’s trusted Mortgage Advisors all the time point out that there could also be some further supplemental property taxes after shopping for a home. It’s one thing your actual property agent ought to point out, too. These taxes usually come from the county, and so they cowl the distinction between the newly assessed worth of the home and what it used to appraise for.

This tax is generally prorated for the remaining variety of months within the 12 months. Whenever you purchase a home, it’s best to finances for this discover throughout your first 12 months of homeownership.

4. Not Having Ample Insurance coverage

Your mortgage lender would require proof of house owners insurance coverage, however that doesn’t imply the minimal protection will suffice. Overview your householders insurance coverage coverage together with your insurance coverage supplier, and ask questions. Don’t neglect to ask worst-case-scenario questions on pure disasters and what the coverage really covers. 

We all know it’s a bummer to consider these points if you’ve simply purchased a house, but it surely’s a good suggestion—particularly if it seems that you just’re underinsured. You’ll wish to contemplate your threat tolerance, your month-to-month premiums, your deductible, and whether or not a private legal responsibility umbrella coverage could also be a good suggestion for you.

5. Underestimating Dwelling Enchancment Prices

A eating desk might sound like a very good use of cash, however that leaky sink? Pssssh. You possibly can repair that your self…proper? That relies upon: Are you a licensed plumber?

You don’t must go to the professionals for each little factor, however you’ll be able to keep away from some first time homebuyer errors by realizing if you do must name for backup. Electrical wiring, dwelling additions or expansions, and plumbing-related points are greatest left to the professionals.

And right here’s one thing else to contemplate: Many of those repairs or renovations may additionally require a allow or HOA approval. That’s proper: It might be your home, however failing to comply with the protocol with main modifications is among the pricey homebuyer errors.

Conversely, if you’re in a householders affiliation, a few of these repairs could also be included in what the HOA pays for (out of doors objects specifically), so ensure you’re accustomed to the main points of your HOA settlement.

6. Ignoring Routine Upkeep

There’s an enormous distinction between a flooding rest room and a faucet that drips each 30 seconds. It’s a must to prioritize, in spite of everything. However when you’ve tackled all of the “should repair ASAP” objects in your record, it’s best to nonetheless flip your consideration to smaller issues. 

This contains each noticeable objects like a leaky faucet or a drafty window and those who don’t bounce out at you. For instance, has anybody ever cleaned out that chimney?

Create a listing of recurring, preventative upkeep duties, and keep on high of it. 

Change previous gentle bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. Test all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Clear your gutters. Change your air filters. Winterize your pipes.

Put aside an emergency fund that not solely covers big-ticket repairs like a damaged fridge, but additionally smaller objects like a damaged sprinkler. 

If ignored, all of the “small objects” can flip into larger points. Subsequent factor , you’ve walked proper into one of many first time homebuyer errors. It’s higher to nip dwelling upkeep points within the bud if you first discover an issue—or, higher but, if you’re conducting your quarterly upkeep evaluation!

Do You Want a Little Extra Assist?

The primary 12 months of dwelling possession is such an thrilling time. Don’t let a pricey mistake dampen the temper.

The excellent news is that your APM Mortgage Advisor is all the time right here—even after you shut. Get in contact with us anytime with all of your homeownership questions. We’re completely happy to assist!


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