Many real estate companies in Houston, TX have lots of experience looking for the perfect new home for their client in the city. Houston is a growing place with a booming housing market, and there are always new homes being built and sold. So why does it still take some clients forever to find their dream home? Unfortunately, there are some common pitfalls and mistakes that people make over and over again.
Buying a new home is a big deal. It’s often seen as a milestone and life decision, so it’s no wonder that clients often have a tendency to make certain mistakes. We know you just want what’s best for you, and believe it or not, realtors also want the home that’s best for you. When you make certain decisions that your agent may try to sway you away from, however, it may not look like that. Things such as changing your price and doing more research might look like they’re steering you in the wrong direction. However, there’s rhythm to this madness! Here are some common house hunting mistakes real estate companies want you to stop making, so you can secure the home of your dreams.
Rushing or stalling an offer
While Houston is an ever-expanding city, there are still periods of time where the market is hotter than others. Sometimes, people might feel rushed to put an offer in for a home because they’re selling fast. Remember that there are some qualities about a home that need a few nights to sleep on to figure out, such as if the neighborhood feels safe, if the surrounding area is ideal (noise pollution, schools, being close to groceries, gas, etc.), and if there are similar homes in the area for a better price.
However, doing the opposite isn’t a great idea either. Dragging your feet and waiting too long to put in an offer can also be a bad move. There’s nothing as heartbreaking as losing a home that you realize too soon was perfect. Go too fast and you might make a mistake, but wait too long and you might miss out… so how do you find the middle?
Real estate companies in Houston, TX know how to find this balance. The Houston market fluctuates often, so any company that’s been around for some time can help you figure out when it’s time to make a decision. Your gut feeling is usually right– but if your real estate agent is rushing you or urging you to think a bit longer, take it into consideration!
Not securing your pre-approval
Shopping for a home before you know how much you can really spend on it can be a depressing lost cause. While some people think that they can estimate what their loan will be, you truly never know what will happen. If you’re getting a mortgage, you absolutely should secure your pre-approval before you attend a single open house.
Please keep in mind: pre-qualification is not the same as pre-approval! Many first-time (and a few multiple-time) buyers get confused with the two. While they might sound like the same thing, pre-qualification is only the first step in the pre-approval process. Do not start deep researching until you have your pre-approval!
Over or under-estimating certain flaws
If you’re a big HGTV fan, you might think that big flaws in a house are fine because you can fix them yourself. While this can be true in many cases, keep in mind certain factors about renovating, such as:
- how long it will take (will you be able to live there while it’s being done?)
- the amount of money it will cost (the materials themselves, laborers, contractors, etc.)
- difference in appearance before and after
If you find yourself in a situation where you think you can repair something yourself but then can’t, any upgrades from there may cost twice as much and the price could be much more than you bargained for.
Of course, this isn’t true in every case. Sometimes, it truly is just a small, easily fixable problem. Ask your agent for advice on what to do if you find something wrong with a home you’re looking at.
Not figuring out your price range
Similar to not having your pre-approval set, not knowing your price range can also be a huge issue. It’s hard to let go of a home once you’ve found it. Real estate companies in Houston, TX usually recommend that you start looking at the lower end of your price range. With Houston’s fluctuating market, there are many great homes at all different levels of price ranges. If you start at the lower end of your price range and find a great home there, you don’t need to look any higher!
Fixating on a certain home or neighborhood
Unless you are getting your home custom built, there are likely many other homes like any one that you look at. Once you find a home that has multiple features you realize you love, let your realtor know. Your realtor can definitely bring up more in the market that have similar or additional qualities at different prices.
In other words, when you find your first good option, use it as a blue print to find other ones. Like we mentioned before, sleep on your decision for a few days before making it, and continue looking in the meantime. It’s very likely that there is another house like the one you found nearby.
The same rule goes for neighborhoods. When you find one you like, there are definitely multiple other ones just like it. Limiting yourself to one or two neighborhoods is not always a great idea. Of course, there are certain cases in which it’s necessary, but if you find room to look further, always take it.
A practice real estate companies recommend is listing out things that are important to you and prioritize them in order. You can do separate lists for your home and the neighborhood, or combine them. That way, you have a type of house and type of neighborhood to look in, and have more opportunities to find the best value.
Weichert Realtors, the Murray Group, specializes in finding homes in the Houston area. If you’re looking for a realtor in the Houston area with plenty of experience, contact us for more information.