You’ve been thinking about buying a condominium for some time now, and you’ve finally decided to take the plunge! The whole process is very exciting, but before you start hunting for condos, there are a couple of things you should know in order to avoid making common home buyer mistakes.
5 missteps to avoid and ensure a smooth condo-buying process.
1. Not being clear about your “wants” and “needs”
We all hope to find that perfect home that ticks all the right boxes, but it’s important that you’re clear on what you want first. Being realistic is key here, otherwise, you’ll spend a long time looking for a home that’s perfect in every way. Homes, like people, have flaws, so try to narrow down your list of must-have features, and be sure to distinguish between your “wants” and “needs”.
For instance, a rooftop swimming pool is a luxurious feature, but it’s not as essential as, say, an adequate number of bedrooms and closet space. Make sure you’re clear about your must-haves and be flexible with all the nice-to-haves on your list.
2. Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage
Given how dynamic the real estate market is, going in without a mortgage pre-approval doesn’t seem like a good idea. Not only does shopping for a new home without a pre-approval show your realtor that you’re not serious, but it also lowers your chances of getting the property you want. There are some home buyers with pre-approval searching for a new home, so the chances of sellers entertaining an offer like this are slim.
On the other hand, arming yourself with a pre-approval gives you a leg up in the process. Once you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll know just how big of a property you can afford. This can potentially save you time since you won’t be looking at condos that aren’t in your price range.
3. Condo-hunting without a pro
Just like having a pre-approval gives you a leg up, working with a pro means you’ll get a jump on your competitors. Hiring a buyer’s agent means you’ll have an insight into the new listings in the area you’re looking to purchase a property. Moreover, according to a real estate agent in Norterra AZ, working with professionals increases your chances of finding the right home since they are able to fine-tune your search and also broaden it.
Furthermore, they’ll help you navigate lengthy and complex documents, make sure you stay within your means, and help you avoid any costly mistakes in the condo-buying process. They’ll negotiate on your behalf when the time comes to make an offer all the while keeping your best interests in mind.
4. Not taking into account the surrounding neighborhood
Location is one of the crucial factors you’ll need to consider when looking for a new condo, so make sure you check for any red flags while you’re still viewing the property. Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day to get its overall vibe and see whether it fits your needs and lifestyle.
Is it quiet or noisy? Do families live there or is it more attractive to singles? What are the neighbors like? How about the appearance of the neighborhood and its amenities? And what about the proximity to local shops, schools, parks, and public transportation? Save some time while touring the condo to get these questions answered. Doing so will help you decide whether your new home is right for you.
5. Waiting too long/buying too soon
The reasons for this are numerous. Some buyers may consider it wise to wait as the prices may fall a bit more or the rates may get even lower. Some may be too cautious about the decision to buy after reading too much financial news. Some may continue to rent because it seems cheaper at the moment.
Others, however, may do the exact opposite and settle on the first place they see. This is usually done out of fear of missing out or worrying that someone else will snap it up. Waiting too long to buy a home is just as bad as jumping the gun and putting in a bid too soon. Instead of making these common newbie buyers mistakes, shop around. Look for homes that are priced well, explore your options, and make sure to visit at least five different condos before making a decision.
Buying a condo is a complex process, one that’s impacted not just by finances but also a lot of different emotions. If you stick with these tips, you’ll be able to navigate the whole condo-buying process more effectively, make the right decisions, and save money, time, and sanity while you’re at it. Happy hunting!