Buying a home can be an incredibly emotional experience. Oftentimes, you are searching for the place where you will settle in and raise your family, imagining your kids plopping down on the sofa in the living room or playing in the backyard. All of those emotions, however, can have a way of clouding your judgment, which can lead you to make some ill-advised decisions. To stop this from happening, homebuyers need to be aware of the emotion-based mistakes that are common during the home buying process:
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1. Prioritizing Home Features Over Location
Studies have shown that homebuyers tend to make incorrect assumptions about what will make them happy. Most people believe the biggest home containing most of the features on their must-have list will lead to a lifetime of happiness. If, however, that home is far away from friends and family or requires a longer commute, it is more likely to contribute to feelings of stress and unhappiness.
Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, spoke with The Wall Street Journal about the importance of living near loved ones.
"It's so easy to get caught up in comparing the physical features of the places you're looking at, but you should really stop to consider how the places you're considering will shape your social relationships," said Dunn.1
Longer commutes tend to cause the most unhappiness. Not only is commuting a hassle, but it detracts from time that could be spent with family.
2. Getting Swept Up in the Positives and Ignoring the Negatives
When homebuyers discover properties that appear to be everything they've been looking for, they often fail to acknowledge any issues the homes may have. It does not really matter if a home has the perfect kitchen if it is also accompanied by thousands of dollars worth of necessary structural repairs that the buyers cannot afford. It is important for a buyer to think logically about whether purchasing a property would be a sound investment or whether it would break the bank.2
3. Lowballing the Seller
Homebuyers must remember that the sellers they are working with will be emotional, too. They are selling a property filled with memories, and as a result they will likely believe the home is worth far more than it is. While it is okay to negotiate fairly, offering a price that is far lower than the home is worth could offend the seller and result in a rejection of the offer.3
Buyers should speak with their Real Estate Agents for advice on what to offer. They can also do research on what other similar homes have sold for in the area to determine if the seller's asking price is reasonable.
4. Forgetting About all the Costs
As buyers scramble to get their finances in order so they can afford a down payment, closing costs and those monthly mortgage payments, it can be easy to forget about the costs that will come with moving in and owning the home over the first few months. Buyers should make sure they are purchasing a home at a price that leaves them with enough money to cover repairs, moving expenses, furnishing and all other costs associated with living in the home.
There is a lot to think about when buying a home, and the entire process can be very overwhelming. If buyers find themselves swept up in the excitement of a new property, they would do well to remind themselves to take a step back and analyze every aspect of the purchase before making any final decisions.
1Wall Street Journal