Buying in the Wrong Season
Judging a Book by its Cover
Let's face it, some homes show horribly. Some have old carpet, some have peeling paint, and some just downright stink. But just because a house looks bad, doesn't mean that its current condition isn't merely cosmetic damage. While you're checking out a property, make sure to take a peek under carpets to check for original hardwood flooring and other historical details like crown molding. If you're lucky enough to have a friend in construction, have them take a look at the house's foundation to determine if it'll still be standing upright in another 100 years. Determining if a house has good bones will help you look past the cover image on an otherwise dingy dust jacket. Get some remodel inspiration! Check out these 10 tips for a happy kitchen remodel.
Photo: Russ Widstrand
Jumping the Gun After One Viewing
If you're on the buying end of real estate, there's no real reason not to hire a real estate agent. This person is a professional who will not only schedule and accompany you on showings, but is a well of information on the entire buying process. Plus, their commission fees are generally paid for through the sale of the home, which means that their services, to you, are free. Nothing to lose.
Get tips on doing your own home inspection here.
Skipping the Inspection
When deciding on a house, nothing is more important than the condition of the property. And the best way to confirm that you're not investing in a money pit? Get an inspection. From a real inspector. Don't call your uncle's friend who happens to be a contractor or your coworker's cousin who used to be a plumber. Get a real inspector who is certified through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Your real estate agent can help you hire the right person, though finding an unbiased, third-party inspector you can trust is a better option. You can even do some preliminary work on your own. Build your own DIY home inspection toolkit here.
Ignoring Old Paint
Skipping the Final Walk-Through
Not Being Neighborly