As a first time homebuyer, you can expect to experience a myriad of emotions. You can anticipate feeling excitement about purchasing a new home and moving to a new area. You can also get ready to feel the worry and anticipation that’s commonly associated with the process.

Buying your first home can have the potential to be a major mess. Chances are high that something will slip through the cracks.

Here are some of the most common pitfalls and mishaps to beware of before you buy the homebuying process.

Settle Any Debts & Build Up An Emergency Fund

first time home buyer

Buying a house expensive and the upkeep costs can quickly begin to pile up.

How you finance your home is up to you, but it’s smart to ensure that your other debts (student loans, business loans, etc. ) are either dealt with or arent posing a huge financial threat.

It is definitely a good idea t have money set aside beforehand so that you will be able to cover any unexpected housing expenses.

Set A Budget for Buying Your First Home

This budget will put into perspective what kind of house you can afford. While most of us want big houses, we can find ourselves in financial turmoil if our job or income isn’t enough to cover the expenses.

Know how much you make and get a house that fits that.

Do Your First Time Home Buyer Research

a first time home buyer should do research before buying their first ome

Learn as much as you can about the housing market and the costs associated with home buying. Not only do you need to save for an emergency fund, but you’ll also need funds set aside for a down paying and your closing costs.

The down payment required for purchasing a home can vary depending on multiple factors, but there are plenty of calculators to guide you on that–like this mortgage calculator. Closing costs are more predictable, as closing costs are roughly 3-4% of the said home’s purchase price.

Either way, having a good understanding of the housing market can ensure you are not stumbling into something unexpected.

Go to Open Houses & Think Long Term

Remember, this is a large purchase, and it should be treated as such. Don’t expect this to be quick. The home buying process can take weeks for completion. It’s very unlike renting a place, in which you get an answer back in a few days.

first time home buyers should go to open houses to get a feel for the market

With this in mind, it’s important you spend time on this decision. Whether it takes months or a year, the key is to not rush yourself. Go to some open houses, narrow down your list of neighborhoods you want to live in.

And keep in mind that if the house isn’t ideal, it doesn’t mean it can’t be. You can always spruce your home up after you purchase it, which can add home value in time

Be Prepared For The Closing Process

My last tip is to be aware of the closing process. The closing process can take a month and a half on average.

During that time, you’ll sign documents, inspect the house, and the real estate agent will tell you about potential roadblocks and more. It’s a busy time and it can trip people up. So make sure you read the documents and ask questions when you don’t understand something.

This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to buying a house, but these are things people get tripped up on all the time. People don’t budget, plan too quickly, and find themselves in a house that they slowly become unhappy with.

Instead, err on the side of caution, be curious, and ask questions. Above all, take your time! When you go through this process slowly, you’ll find a house that you’ll be happy with for decades to come.

What a First Time Home Buyer Should Do Before Buying a House | Jerrold & Co. | Houston, TX