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Top House Hunting Mistakes To Avoid

Looking for Homes for Sale on ComputerWorking with a buyer’s agent from Heney Realtors is an excellent decision when you are looking to buy a home in Central Vermont. Your buyer’s agent will partner with you and work in your best interest throughout the house hunting process. We recognize that every town is unique, every market is different, and there are a lot of decisions to make. We look forward to helping you discover the perfect town and find the perfect home. Here are some of the top house hunting mistakes to avoid. 

Not considering your budget: Most homebuyers will need a mortgage to finance their purchase. You want to consider everything in your budget, and not overspend on your mortgage payment. There may be vacations to take, delicious restaurants to explore, golf club memberships to maintain, or any number of other things important in maintaining your current lifestyle. Look closely at your budget, and closely at the monthly mortgage amount you will be comfortable making without sacrificing your lifestyle! 

Not working with a buyer’s agent: Working with a buyer’s agent is your best first step forward when house hunting. They understand the local market, will draft a formal offer on your behalf, advise you on important contingencies, negotiate on your behalf and work with you every step of the way. A buyer’s agent will be the first person to see new listings that match your priorities. They will know how to move quickly and guide you in making a competitive offer in a hot market. 

Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage: A pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is essential to demonstrate your ability to afford a given property. Real estate agents prefer to work with clients who are pre-approved, and many sellers will not accept an offer without first seeing a pre-approval letter from a buyer. Remember to shop around and locate the best mortgage for which you qualify (there are several to choose from). 

Not listing your priorities: Early in your house hunting adventure, it’s okay to look around and get a feel for what you're looking for. It is important to narrow down the search by listing your priorities when you are ready to get the ball rolling. Knowing the type of house (single family home, condominium, townhouse, duplex), lot size (is a big backyard important to you), number of rooms, and preferred neighborhood will help locate the best properties for you and empower you to act quickly when the perfect house comes to market. Heney Realtors includes a “property profile” form on our website to make the process of listing your priorities simple and efficient when you are buying a home in Central Vermont. 

Not getting a feel for the neighborhood: Perhaps you would like to live in a lively neighborhood where kids are playing street hockey after school, and practicing with their band in the garage on Sunday morning. Perhaps you prefer a quiet neighborhood where there is less hustle and bustle. It is important to get a feel for the neighborhood, and the neighbors (and understand what is important to you and your family). Walking through a neighborhood and striking up a conversation or two with the people who live there will provide valuable insight into the feel of the community. 

Not checking on the quality of area schools: If you are raising a family, or are planning to raise a family, you will want to check on the quality of education. Check on the public schools and private schools in the area. The staff at Heney Realtors know the neighborhoods and schools in Central Vermont very well. You can also speak with neighbors and school administrators, and attend a local school board meeting to get a better sense of the community.

Not getting a home inspection: A home inspection is very important, and relatively inexpensive ($300-$500 for a typical 2-3 hour single family home inspection). A home inspection provides critical information on the structural condition and the condition of major systems in a home. Your buyer’s agent will likely advise you to include a home inspection in your contingencies when making a formal offer on a home (which will allow you to request repairs, negotiate a better price, or walk away from the deal). 

Not understanding normal wear and tear: Homes are lived in and they will often have a few scars to prove it. But that doesn’t mean they are any worse for the wear. The home inspection will reveal any major problems. Minor blemishes and scars are expected and should not necessarily deter you from moving forward on purchasing a home. 

Not looking past bright and shiny things: A seller will be working with a seller’s agent, who will advise them on the proper staging of their home. The well manicured lawn, freshly painted interior walls, conservatively chosen furniture, and new fixtures will certainly catch your eye. Remember to look past the surface and consider the quality of the home (as determined by the home inspection) and if your listed priorities are met. If the landscaping needs a little help, or the walls need to be painted, you can simply hire someone to correct it before moving in. Don’t walk away from what is otherwise a perfect home! 

Heney Realtors has been serving Central Vermont since 1956. We like living here and think you will too. We know the local real estate market and the local neighborhoods, and we would like to help you find your perfect home in Central Vermont. Contact us today!

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