Avoid these common first-time homebuyer mistakes: Part II

Many first-time homebuyers can make costly mistakes that lead to buyer regret down the road, but you can avoid this pitfall if you know what you're up against before you start house hunting.

The homebuying process is tedious and complex, and new regulations can make the endeavor more confusing. However, there are professionals who can help you get the home of your dreams for the best price and with affordable financing.

Here's another installment of first-time homebuyer mistakes and steps for avoiding them:

Working alone
In the real estate industry, there are professionals who focus on specific areas in the homebuying process, which indicates the depth of knowledge required to get the best deals when shopping for a house. If people study real estate for years for their careers, it is certainly no small endeavor. This means you should lean on these experts whenever possible.

Let's start with loan officers. Their job encompasses more than getting consumers started on applications for mortgages. Your loan officer can work with you as you go through the sizeable paperwork in case you get confused.

Then, there's your real estate agent. You can go house hunting on your own, but agents know how to find properties that fit your desires and budget. Plus, they're skilled when it comes to negotiating a sale price. Not only does this expertise help you get the best price possible, but it also helps ensure you don't lose a home because of aggressive haggling.

Spending too much
When faced with what appears to be the home of your dreams, it can be difficult to stick with the budget. However, you want to have as much wiggle room as possible between your sale price and spending limit.

Your max budget should include more than the price of the home. It must account for any additional expenses, such as your down payment, closing costs and renovation expenses. Also, save room for an emergency fund. With these other costs in mind, remember that straining your budget impacts other financial obligations that come with homeownership.

Expecting to have it all
There's nothing wrong with having a checklist for what you want out of a home. Yet, finding each item in one property can be a stretch. This is true whether you're a first-timer or someone looking to trade up.

Compromise is a large part of buying a house. To get more of the amenities you want, you'll have to spend more. Some desired features that are less important have to be sacrificed for higher priorities. Sometimes, the perfect home is available at an affordable price in a suitable location, but finding it means giving up more of your time.

Be prepared to make sacrifices to remain within your budget. A spa tub, for example, is a nice feature, but it may not be as important as finding a house within a short driving distance of your job.

Get the help you need
Avoiding these and other common novice homebuyer mistakes is often as easy as getting the right help, which is why you should check out our First-time Homebuyer Program. Many lenders are out there, but few will give you the top-notch service you get with Landmark Bank. Not only do we provide expert mortgage guidance for U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Federal Housing Administration loans, but we also give you a $1,400 credit toward your closing costs* for joining the program.

Contact one of our mortgage bankers today to get started. All you need is your two most recent pay stubs, tax returns, W-2s and checking or savings account statements.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

*With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply.

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