3 Common Mistakes When Buying Property
Start by starting! Many times, I’ve heard people say they will wait for the market to change, but the truth is that even when one part of the market changes, another adjusts along with it. So until you start the process, you may be missing the real estate opportunity you’re looking for.
The bad news is time flies. Properties come and go on the market rather quickly, so you have to stay diligent in your search. The good news is you’re the pilot. You’re in control of your own course on your path to finding the property you want. Here are a few common mistakes I have seen buyers make over the years when looking for a property to purchase.
Procrastination – Within the last decade, there have been about five properties that my husband and I have seriously considered purchasing. Yet, we did not pull the trigger on any of them. We analyze them from time to time to see if we made the right decision. And guess what? Every one of them would have been a huge win for us! Why didn’t we do it? They were not perfect, the timing wasn’t perfect, the lending wasn’t perfect, etc. That brings me to another favorite quote my mother just loved: Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!
So, let me burst your bubble! There is no perfect property out there, there is no perfect time and there is no perfect lending, only deals that work! So do the math, do the analysis and if it works, or it is almost your dream home, the best thing you can do is to overcome your perfectionism and pull the trigger. Make the purchase!
Not Protecting Yourself – So pulling the trigger to write that contract is the most important first step. But give yourself a safety net that allows you to confirm all your questions. Not putting contingencies in contracts and not doing due diligence can lead to regret with your purchase. Most issues that arise can be successfully overcome with creativity and time! But you need to not be backed into a corner where you don’t have a legal out that you can exercise. The fact that you have a legal right will give the seller the right attitude in troubleshooting with you. On a related note, it’s often better to write the contract and get it accepted with those contingencies in place than to try to go fact-finding about all the details of the property without the contract already in place. Too often, buyers miss out on the property they most want because someone else submitted an offer while they were gathering information that they could have reviewed during the inspection or as a contingency to making the purchase.
Not Making a List of Goals – Writing down at least 5 expectations for what you need this property to be and giving yourself a timeline to find it is a very important part of the process. Doing this adds persistence to your toolbox. My husband and I wanted to purchase a farm. My family heritage was small family farms in Virginia. I longed to have acreage to roam on, horses and donkeys as yard ornaments, turkeys and deer as my extra pets – you get the picture. But the right farm just never “appeared.” So it happened that I went on a cruise with my middle daughter to Jamaica, where she treated me to a horse ride in the ocean. This was a real gift as she was scared out of her mind to ride, but I had the time of my life! That did it for me. I committed to the decision. I said, “I am coming home to Tennessee, and I am going to go to every property that is on the market until I find my farm!” So, I came home and started my viewings. Sure enough I came to one that was an active listing and actually I had already driven by it once before but turned around before I got to it as I thought, “I am just not feeling it. The gravel road is a bit sketchy…” (Honestly the photos made it look like a yellow mobile home.) But this time because I was resolute, my husband and I drove the gravel road and up to the property to the most magnificent view of the Great Smoky National Park, and the rolling hills that belonged to this property. It was stunning! Of course, the view had not been captured in the photos. My husband said nothing, but he knew he was moving. Yellow’s not my color of choice, but guess what? House colors can be changed with paint. Views and rolling hills, however, God has to make those.