6 House Hunting Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

February 14, 2019

When you make the decision to buy a home it can be tempting to begin searching straight away, but be careful, there are a lot of mistakes that buyers make when they are unprepared!

Purchasing a home in Whistler can sometimes be a complicated and confusing process that can be underestimated, resulting in costly errors. So, to help you out we spoke to our Realtors and put together some common mistakes and how to avoid them!

Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one of the first steps you take when looking for a home. This process is quick and easy and will provide an accurate idea of how much you can afford to spend, allowing you to narrow down your search.

Without a realistic budget you run the risk of falling in love with a property then realizing you cannot afford it. Pre-approval gives you more credibility as a buyer as well and allows you to immediately put in a definitive offer when you find the right home.

One thing to note is that pre-approval is different from pre-qualification – pre-approval is the only one that carries the weight required to make an offer. 

Not doing your research

When searching for a home it’s important to research everything! This is especially applicable if you’re not familiar with Whistler. Research each neighbourhood and see if they meet your requirements. For example, if you’re specifically looking for somewhere with slopeside access you will have to narrow down your neighbourhood search for areas that meet this need.

We always recommend spending time in the area you are looking to move to in order to determine that it meets your full requirements.

Rushing in to make an offer

Rushing in to make an offer on the first place you visit is a common mistake made by house hunters. The fear is that you might miss out or won’t find anything else as good. This can also happen if you’ve previously had offers refused or have been outbid before. It’s important to still conduct your due diligence, even if somewhere seems perfect on first glance.

The other risk is overbidding. In a seller’s market you might be tempted to make a high offer in order to beat other potential buyers. However, be careful as if your offer is higher than the appraised value of the home, your lender will not cover the difference.

Not getting a home inspection

Something we have noticed in seller’s markets is buyers choosing to forgo a home inspection. This is extremely risky as few buyers can spot the signs that may lead to major problems with the property.

Ignoring the need for a home inspection can lead to huge expenses down the line should the property happen to suffer from any issues such as damp, flooding, poor insulation or wiring, or not being structurally sound.

Not preparing for closing costs

Many first time buyers commonly underestimate the closing costs of a home purchase. There can be a number of hidden costs when buying a property besides the down payment and the mortgage. Closing costs can account for as much as 4% of the purchase price and are not covered by your lender.

Not hiring a Realtor

In some cases buyers may choose to go it alone and not engage the services of a Realtor in a bid to save money. 

We always recommend working with a local, knowledgeable agent who can guide you through the process and actually save you money in the long run. They can help with every aspect of the buying process as well as showing you listings that aren’t yet public.

For more information on buying a property in Whistler, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Realtors.

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