3 Predictable (and Costly) Mistakes Most Californian First-Time Homebuyers Make

Keys and handsIt’s very difficult to keep your head cool during your first home hunt. As soon as you inspect a Californian house, you start picturing the rest of your life on that property. You think about ways in which you could decorate the baby’s room, buy new marble countertops for your kitchen and drink your first 10,000 cups of coffee in that truly extraordinary garden. In a few words, you get way too emotional and let your sentimentalism influence your end call. Unfortunately, this is only one mistake that most inexperienced home buyers make. Below you will find 3 other mishaps that you could end up regretting after a few weeks, months or years.

1. They Obsess with Luxury Amenities That They Don’t Really Need or Afford. The thought of owning a large, gorgeous Victorian mansion with a truly decadent pool, a large patio and the most elegant kitchen that you have ever seen is quite tempting. Truth be told, these types of luxury additions are a real magnet for buyers. However, as soon as prospects get mesmerized by what’s in front of them, they ignore the fact that upscale extras involve considerable out-of-pocket expenses. Who is going to clean and maintain your pool area? Can you actually afford to hire an army of landscapers, maids, plumbers and electricians to keep a sophisticated property in its current condition? With the money that you would spend on pool maintenance and professional landscaping you could afford one or two memorable getaways in the most amazing corners of paradise. Therefore, evaluate expenses before setting your heart on high-maintenance, pricy properties.

2. They Neglect the Fact That Rentals Could Be the Perfect Solution for Their Family. In some of the most sought-after Californian urban areas, once-in-a-lifetime real estate deals are difficult to come by. If you are already covered in debt and the chances of getting another loan and pretty slim, why are you so determined to place the weight of ownership on your already loaded shoulders, especially in times of financial hardship? On the other side of the coin, the rental market could enable you to discover golden opportunities that may actually fit your needs and lifestyle choices.

3. They Think That Homes Are Livable ATMs. Before ending your home hunt, ask yourself this: are you looking for a Californian home for sale simply because you want to enjoy the convenience and stability that ownership gives you, or are you actually interested in securing your future or filling your bank account viaa real estate transaction? Unless you are an experienced house flipper, you may want to leave this job to the real pros. Buying, fixing and selling houses is not exactly an easy assignment, especially when you’re a first-time buyer who knows very little or nothing at all about the Californian real estate market. Also, buying a place so you can rent it and turn it into your personal cash cow could also represent a risky decision, especially if you are not ready to deal with the regular responsibilities and challenges that landlords are faced with.

To avoid misguided purchases, start by evaluating your realistic needs and allocated budget. Put your thoughts on paper and share them with your realtor to narrow down the search and make a wise end call.

Sep 2014