Dos and Don’ts of Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you can make. It’s an investment that will affect your future and has long-term implications for you and your family. Unfortunately, people make many critical mistakes when buying a house – some of which could have been easily avoided with a little preparation.

Knowing what questions to ask and familiarizing yourself with all aspects of the home-buying process gives you more power as a buyer and helps ensure that everything goes smoothly. To avoid potential issues, let’s detail the top dos and don’ts of buying a home for anyone looking to buy their first or next home.

Researching the Market

Becoming familiar with the local real estate market, including current housing trends and prices is important. Researching the real estate market will provide valuable insight into what properties are in your budget and may reveal potential investment opportunities.

Getting acquainted with these variables is essential when gauging whether a prospective purchase is worth making. Examine current pricing information and compare it to previous year’s data to understand how values fluctuate within the local area. Review recent sales figures to determine which neighborhoods are becoming more popular than others. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to decide where and what type of property you should buy.

Obtaining Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

Obtaining a loan pre-approval is the first step in securing a mortgage. Pre-approval will give you confidence during negotiations when making an offer on a potential property. It also lets you understand what kind of mortgages are available within your budget.

Getting financial pre-approval provides assurance to sellers that you can afford their home and have taken the necessary steps to secure financing. Mortgage approval is not guaranteed, but having the right information ready and working with experienced lenders who know how to work through any issues should help ensure success.

Pre-approval also helps buyers move quickly when they find their dream house to take advantage of financing delays or rejections. Taking this crucial step up front will save time and frustration down the road as you consider location and home features for your new home purchase.

Considering Location and Features

After pre-approval, the next step is to consider location and features. It can be overwhelming when looking at different homes and neighborhoods – but prioritizing what’s important to you in a home will make the process much easier.

Look beyond the aesthetics of a potential property and dive into factors such as neighborhood amenities, commute distance, potential upgrades, and the condition of the home. When browsing through listings online or even in person, take note of any desirable qualities that would make living there more comfortable or enjoyable.

The location has so many elements to think about, but at minimum, you should research local schools, crime rates, and other aspects that may affect how well you fit in with the community. You should also talk to current residents or real estate agents familiar with the area who can give first-hand advice on their experiences living there.

Think practically: are nearby shops and services easily accessible? Is this an up-and-coming neighborhood? Consider long-term investments versus short-term costs by evaluating possible major repairs needed now compared to potential upgrades down the line. Having a clear understanding of these location factors combined with desired home features will help narrow down your search immensely as you move forward in buying a home.

Working with an Experienced Realtor

An experienced real estate agent offers a wealth of knowledge and services that are invaluable throughout the home-buying process. A reputable realtor will have access to listings not available on popular websites, as well as market insights that can help you make informed decisions when purchasing your new home.

From researching comparable properties in the area to helping with negotiations, a qualified real estate professional has the tools and experience necessary to facilitate a successful sale. Moreover, they understand local regulations and laws pertaining to residential purchase agreements, so you don’t have to worry about any legal issues arising from your transaction.

With the right guidance, you can find the perfect property without having to navigate complex paperwork or unfamiliar processes alone.

Understanding Closing Costs

If you’re working with an experienced realtor, you’re already on your way to understanding closing costs. Being aware of these fees is crucial when buying a home.

Closing costs refer to any mortgage fees, closing expenses, or title insurance to pay at the end of the home-buying process. It is important for potential buyers to understand what they will owe since some of these costs can be quite substantial.

These charges typically include but are not limited to loan origination fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, surveyor’s fees, title search, and insurance premiums. Additional costs may be associated with taxes or prorated property taxes, depending on where you’re located.
In addition to paying attention to closing costs, buyers should consider getting a home inspection done before signing anything related to their purchase agreement. A thorough home inspection will help identify existing problems and potentially save future headaches down the road. As always, make sure you read all documents carefully and ask questions if necessary.

The Dos and Don’ts of Buying a Home in Summary

Buying a home is an exciting experience, but it’s important to approach the process with caution and care. By keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind during your search, you’ll have a greater chance of finding the perfect property that meets all your needs.

Take time to research the market, obtain pre-approval, consider location and features, get acquainted with closing costs, and most importantly – hire an experienced real estate agent. By focusing on these aspects, you’re well-positioned to get into the home of your dreams at the right cost.


Tatyana Sturm-Storck

Tatyana and Aaron have over 36 years of combined experience in buying, selling, and investing in real estate. Between 2020 and 2022 they had 282 buy/sell transactions. Approximately 70% of those transactions were in Aurora, Centennial, and Parker.