For many, purchasing a home is the single largest financial decision anyone will make in their lifetime. For new and experienced home buyers alike, it’s crucial to know the truth about purchasing a home, long before you go to sign any paperwork. First time buyers in particular can sometimes be mislead into believing some common myths that could have you feeling uninterested or unable to purchase your dream home. The truth is this: you can’t believe everything you read on the internet or see on TV. Working with a professional, experienced agent to help you better sort facts from fiction and understanding the difference can help you make the best decision for you and your family goals.
Top Home Buying Myths – And the Truth
- The First Step is Finding the Right House – Reality: Start with the basics. Finding a home that is right for you does not start by visiting a website of homes for sale. It begins with understanding your current needs and long-term goals. That could include in-depth conversations with your spouse, your account, a mortgage representative, and most definitely, a real estate agent to help better understand what your practical needs really are, what your budget is, and how they relate to the current real estate market. Surfing the internet looking at homes for sale can be fun and yield a few ideas on what you might like to find in your new home, but it’s important to understand the steps and stay grounded throughout the process.
- You Can’t Buy a Home Without Perfect Credit – Reality: A good score helps, but it’s not absolute. A home buyer with an excellent credit will have more options when seeking and negotiating with lenders, but a perfect credit score isn’t a requirement with all lenders. If your credit score needs some work, know that there are ways you can improve your credit score. It is never too soon to start taking the steps to improve your credit score—it will help work towards your long-term financial goals and securing the best mortgage terms available for your situation.
- You Need 20% Down Payment – Reality: You can make a down payment as low as 3.5% and sometimes less. You’re probably wondering how it’s possible, and like many things, it’s all about opportunities- and for first time buyers, there are many opportunities out there. Federal aid programs such as FHA financing can offer market-low rates; along with other programs like VA loans. Conventional lenders can also be open to negotiating down payments, depending on your financial situation. An experienced real estate agent will have trusted contacts in the mortgage industry and will be able to connect you to those professionals.
- You Don’t Need an Agent – Reality: An Agent will Save you time and money. Real estate agents do more than show you houses that you’re interested in. An experienced agent will have experience in the local market and connections that will make the process easier for you. An agent can help you determine what your needs are for a new property, assist in formulating a budget, give insight to cities and neighborhoods you’re considering, connect you with inspectors or contractors, keep you focused on your goals, and, most importantly, negotiate with your best interests in mind!
- Schools Don’t Matter if you Don’t have Kids – Reality: schools deeply affect an area. Even if you don’t have children, the quality of schools has an impact on any neighborhood- good schools will increase property values, and can help attract other quality residents. Neighborhoods with good schools tend to be more sought-after communities and tend to maintain that status overtime, thereby making your home purchase an even stronger investment in your long-term wealth.
- New Homes Don’t Need a Home Inspection – Reality: it’s a risky proposition. Houses are complicated structures- with numerous mechanical, electrical, engineering and even geological qualities that can impact the long-term longevity of a property. While cosmetic flaws or major issues may be easily noticeable, other issues can be laying well beneath the surface. From top to bottom, inside and out, a home inspection is geared towards checking out all aspects of a home. Even a brand new, newly built home can have issues!
Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions you’re likely to make in your lifetime. Take the time you need to understand the process and learn from the professionals; don’t assume that everything you read is a fact. Put your faith in a real estate expert who will have your best interests in mind and will help you sift through the myths.