Nearly one-third of all Gulf Shores homebuyers, and 68 percent of first-time buyers, were 34 or younger last year. Those numbers are expected to grow as millennials now represent the largest share of buyers. But many millennials are making some pretty costly mistakes according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors. Here are three common and potentially costly mistakes to avoid no matter which age group you fit into.
First Mistake Gulf Shores Homebuyers Make
Overestimating what you can afford. First-time Gulf Shores homebuyers often focus on the down payment and monthly mortgage amount when calculating how much they can afford and forget to factor in closing and other costs. They often times get to the closing and are shocked by the amount of money they have to pay.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much a lender is willing to lend before you make an offer on a home. But keep in mind the amount you're pre-approved to borrow from a mortgage lender may be more than you can actually afford once you factor in taxes, insurance and other costs like condo or homeowners' association fees and maintenance.
Your total monthly payment (including mortgage principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance) shouldn't exceed 28 percent of your gross, or pretax, income.
Gulf Shores Homebuyers Need to Remove Emotions
Gulf Shores homebuyers need to remember to buy with their head and not with their heart. Get too emotionally attached and it can set you up to spend more than you can afford. Make sure to prioritize what you want in your home. Make a list of the most important features, whether you want a certain school district, updated bathrooms, a backyard, etc. Then figure out what you aren't willing to do without. You won't find the perfect home that meets your entire list so narrowing it down to what matters most can help you through your search process.
Gulf Shores Homebuyers Need to Plan
Once you've narrowed your search and you're ready to make on offer, check with your agent about the current demand for the home you're considering. Is the home getting multiple offers? Has it been on the market a long time? Will it require a lot of upgrades?
Make sure you get a thorough inspection. Gulf Shores homebuyers often don't get an inspector with expertise to check the pipes, the plumbing, or air conditioning. You want someone who knows what they are doing.
Remember to think about resale opportunities. Just because you don't have children, the next family who comes along looking at your home for sale might, and where the home is located in relation to good schools may be the difference in whether they buy your house or not.
We have more tips for Gulf Shores homebuyers under our Gulf Shores Home Buying Tips section just below our Gulf Shores Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
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