Common Surprises on the Path to Home Ownership
If you are looking to buy a home, you probably realize that the path to home ownership can be a highly emotional one. From competition of other buyers to unexpected credit issues, you may get unwelcomed news that puts a snag in what you dreamed would be a smooth process.
Just like anything in life, it’s not what challenges you, but how you handle those challenges.
Here are a few common surprises when buying a home and how to best respond:
- You weigh all the pros and cons of placing an offer on a home very carefully, and sleep on it before deciding. However, by the time you try to place that offer, you learn that your perfect home is already under contract.
- In a market where home inventory is limited it is quite common for a home to get listed and go under contract the same day or soon afterward. Plan your pros and cons list while you are viewing the home. Come to showings prepared to place an offer that same day if the home is “the one”.
- You are pre-qualified for a loan so you feel confident – until you place an offer that is accepted only to learn that your lender has refused the request for the loan amount.
- There are two levels of loan approval, and pre-qualified is very basic. Get pre-approved for your loan amount. You will get much of the paperwork out of the way and you will have your actual loan amount approved based on real facts, credit reports, debt to income ratios etc.
- You place an offer and you think it is a really good one. You can see yourself living there and you already have your move half-planned. Then you learn you were outbid by another buyer.
- This can happen even with the best of offers – especially in a sellers’ market. You can try and raise your offer to win the bidding war, but sometimes the other buyer outbid you enough it is not worth it. Next time, offer your absolute best offer. Yes, you normally want a little bargaining room, but sometimes competition is tough and it means putting your best offer out there right from the start.
- Your offer is accepted and all you need is the home inspection to be done and you are heading to closing. Then you attend the inspection and learn the home needs a whole new roof – immediately.
- Don’t panic. Discuss your options with your REALTOR. Buyers in this situation often bring inspection issues back to the sellers to renegotiate the price of the home to be lowered to reflect the needed repairs or even to have the buyers fix the issue before the contract will be honored. If the sellers do not agree, you are not obligated to buy the home and you get your earnest money returned to you.
Buying a home can be one of the happiest times in your life, but it also full of surprises. Just remember there is always a good way to respond to specific issues and your REALTOR can be a wealth of advice on how you should proceed.
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