How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buying a New Home
Introduction: Oh my god…it’s time to buy a house!
Whether this is your first or umpteenth time buying a home, don’t panic. Of
course it’s natural to be anxious. A house is a place we raise children, make
friends, nurture our physical environment and spend valuable time in our lives.
Even though the average person buys a home only a few times in their lifetime,
it is surprising how many important evaluation factors are ignored. In fact,
people are often more rigorous scrutinizing much smaller acquisitions, such as
automobiles, electronics or even household appliances. As a result, once the
deal has closed, many homes don’t meet expectations.
Unfortunate discoveries that can occur soon after purchase include high
utility bills, annoying maintenance requirements, seasonal discomfort, poor
indoor air quality (sometimes manifested as allergies and frequent colds) and
annoying noises from a variety of internal and external sources. In addition,
more significant disasters can be waiting to raise their ugly heads such as
water damage, mold, erosion problems, leaky foundations, and cracked fireplace
flues. Homeowners often wind up rationalizing these problems as part of home
ownership and making necessary adjustments or expensive repairs to avoid the
high costs of buying and selling again. However, surprises like these can and
should be uncovered before purchase. Maybe you would have made the same home
choice, but at lest you go in with your eyes open and better prepared to
negotiate a fair price.
There is too much riding on your next home purchase decision not to do it
right. It often represents the biggest purchase of a lifetime! However,
selecting a new home doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking, high pressure,
complicated process. Instead it can be an enjoyable exploration of exciting
options and the chance to buy a home that best meets your special needs and
budget. “How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buying a New Home” provides a
simple approach that has successfully worked for friends, family and clients
I’ve advised over the past two decades. It’s designed to help you avoid major
home buying pitfalls and target the most important criterion for getting the
best possible home for you.
What this guide does not do:
- Provide extensive discussion: this guide is designed for the home buyer
who wants the bottom line without plowing through hundreds of pages of
- Teach how to perform detailed construction, structural, mechanical and
electrical inspections. It is recommended appropriate experts be hired where
concerns need to be addressed.
- Teach how to arrange financing, calculate mortgage payments or determine
what a home buyer can afford. Financial institutions, simple tables and
low-cost computer software are all available for these purposes.
- Provide how-to instruction on making a real estate transaction. My
advice is to do a good job selecting a real-estate agent and attorney and
then trust them. That’s what they’re being paid for. If you want the “nuts
and bolts”, good Realtors and attorneys are usually excellent explaining
this very complex process, or refer to other books and web sites on this
- Help distinguish between cities and regions to live. There are entire
books and web sites devoted to the relative merits of living and working in
different parts of the country.