Top 12 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Home
It is the ultimate dream of every individual to own a home. A place we can call our own, where we can raise a family and create memories that will last a lifetime. For many of us, buying a home is the biggest purchase we will ever make.
In Ghana, there is no shortage of homes for sale. However, with so many options available, it is easy to make a mistake that could cost you dearly in the long run. If you are a first-time buyer especially, the excitement of buying your first home can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful.
To help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes when buying a home in Ghana, we have put together a list of the top 12 to look out for:
1. Not Knowing Your Budget
It is important to know how much you can afford to spend on a home before starting your search. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid properties that are out of your price range.
Not knowing your budget is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying a home in Ghana. Without a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend, you could easily end up overspending on your new home.
Make sure to sit down and work out a budget before beginning your search for the perfect property. This will help you avoid any financial surprises down the line and ensure that you stay within your means.
2. Not Checking Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors that lenders will consider when you apply for a mortgage. A good credit score will give you access to better interest rates and terms on your loan. If you’re not sure what your credit score is, now is the time to find out. You can check your credit report for free from any of the major credit bureaus in Ghana.
Check your credit report very well and make sure there are no errors or negative items that could drag down your score. If you do find anything, take steps to correct it before applying for a mortgage.
A low credit score could mean having to pay a higher interest rate on your loan, so it’s worth taking the time to get it in good shape before buying a home.
3. Not Having Enough Saved For Emergencies
Emptying your saving when buying a home is a recipe for disaster. No matter how well you budget, there are always going to be unexpected expenses that come up when you own a home, especially if you buy a previously owned home. Whether it’s a broken appliance or a leaking roof, you need to have some money set aside to cover these unexpected costs.
Ideally, you should have at least three to six months of living expenses saved up before buying a home. This will give you some breathing room in case of an emergency and help you avoid going into debt to pay for repairs.
Don’t empty your savings account when buying a home, make sure to have enough set aside to cover unexpected costs. The good news is when dealing with reputable real estate companies like Devtraco Limited, we have warranty periods that cover homeowners for structural defects and other emergencies that may occur.
4. Not Researching The Area Or Neighbourhood
When buying a home, it’s important to do your research on the area or neighborhood you’re considering. You want to make sure that it is a safe place to live and that there are no red flags that could indicate future problems.
Some things you may want to research include the crime rate in the area, the quality of the schools, the condition of the local infrastructure, and the proximity to amenities like grocery stores, hospitals, etc.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can always ask your real estate agent for their opinion on a particular area. They should be able to give you some insights based on their experience and knowledge of the Ghanaian market. Location is important when buying a home in Ghana.
5. Making Assumptions About The Property
Just because a property looks good on the outside doesn’t mean it is in good condition on the inside. Before buying a home, you should always get a professional inspection to make sure that there are no hidden problems that could end up costing you a lot of money down the line.
Some common issues that home inspectors look for include structural problems, electrical issues, plumbing problems, and moisture damage.
You should also ask the seller for a list of any known defects or problems with the property. They are required by law to disclose any material defects that they are aware of.
Making assumptions about a property can be costly, always get a professional home inspection and ask the seller for a list of any known defects before buying.
6. Acting Too Quickly
When you find the perfect home, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and make an offer without thinking things through. However, buying a home is a big decision and you should take your time to be sure that it is the right one for you.
Give yourself some time to think about an offer before making it. This will help you avoid any impulsive decisions and give you time to talk things over with your family or friends.
If the seller is pressuring you to make an offer quickly, it’s a red flag that they may be trying to take advantage of you. Take your time when buying a home, there’s no need to rush into such a big decision.
7. Acting Too Slow
While you don’t want to act too quickly, you also don’t want to take too long to make an offer. If you find a home that you love, put in an offer before someone else does.
Once you’ve found the perfect home, acting in a timely manner is important. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that someone else will make an offer on the property.
If you’re not sure if you’re ready to make an offer, you can always ask the seller for a contingency period. This will give you some time to get your finances in order and have any inspections done before making a final decision.
8. Unwilling To Compromise
Unless you are building your own home from the ground up, you will likely have to compromise on some things when buying a house.
It’s important to remember that you may not find a home that has everything on your wish list, so you should be willing to compromise on some items. For example, if you’re looking for a home with a big backyard but can’t find anything in your price range, you may have to compromise by buying a home with a smaller backyard or no backyard at all.
The key is to find a balance between your must-haves and your would-likes. Be willing to compromise on some things in order to get the home you really want.
9. Not Negotiating
Once you’ve found a home you’re interested in and have made an offer, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price. Remember, the seller is not obligated to accept your first offer, so don’t be afraid to try and get a better deal.
Negotiating is a normal part of the home buying process, so don’t be afraid to haggle over the price. There’s no harm in trying to get a better deal, and you may be surprised at how much you can save by doing so.
10. Downplaying The Cost Of Homeownership
When buying a home, it’s important to remember that there are more costs than just the purchase price of the house. There are also property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs to consider.
Many first-time homebuyers underestimate the true cost of homeownership and end up being shocked when they get their first bill.
Know this beforehand by doing your research or asking real estate agents and professionals who can tell you what to expect. This way, you can plan ahead and budget for the additional costs of buying a home.
11. Not Getting Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
If you’re not pre-approved for a mortgage, you could end up losing out on your dream home. A lot of first-time home buyers take all the pains to search for properties, and go for viewing and inspection, before finding out from the bank how much they qualify for. It will be a great disappointment and let down to know that you do not qualify for the mortgage on the property you have found, and loved.
When buying a home, it’s important to get pre-qualified and even better, pre-approved for a home loan before searching for properties. This will help you know how much you can afford to spend and avoid falling in love with a home that’s out of your price range.
12. Buying A Home You Are Not Comfortable with
If you have doubts about a home or are hesitant about buying it, then you probably shouldn’t. There are so many homes on the market, and you should only buy one that you are completely comfortable with.
If something doesn’t feel right about home, trust your gut and move on to another property. There’s no need to force yourself into a situation that makes you uncomfortable.
Purchasing a home is a huge financial decision, so you should be prepared for anything that might come up. By following these tips, you can avoid some of the most common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Do your research, know what you can afford, and be prepared for anything that might happen. With a little planning, you can purchase your dream home without any problems. Happy house hunting.