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The 36 biggest regrets of first-time home buyers

The 36 biggest regrets of first-time home buyers
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Buying your first home? It’s easy to overlook some small yet important things when you’re excited about buying a house – but you’ll probably regret it later.

Future development

Future development
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When you have a specific house in mind, think about potential developments. For example, if the home is near a busy road, will there be expansion in the near future? If there is a lot of open space around the home, will more homes be built in the area soon? If there are several homes for sale in the neighbourhood, are they selling quickly and who’s moving in? It may be difficult to find concrete information about future developments, but keeping some what-ifs in mind as you look can help you find your ideal home. Also, keep in mind the potential resale value of your future home because no one knows what the future holds and you may need to sell earlier than you imagined.

Forgetting pre-approval

Forgetting pre-approval

If you’re serious about buying a home and not just trolling the market, be sure to get pre-approved by your bank or credit union BEFORE you start viewing homes. With pre-approval, you will really feel ready to make an offer when a home feels right, and if there’s heavy competition. You’ll also know exactly what you can afford, which is really the most important thing.

Ignoring old paint

Ignoring old paint
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If the home you’re considering was built before 1978, you should seriously consider its potential for lead-based paint. On one of your viewings, take a lead-paint test kit with you to swab a few areas that seem suspicious (flaking, zebra-like chips). You can buy tests for around $30 at a hardware store. If you have time and the ability, also test the water to ensure the tap water doesn’t contain lead.

Skipping the final inspection

Skipping the final inspection
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Most purchase agreements allow for a final inspection of the property to ensure that the house is still in good condition. This might not seem necessary, but if you’re purchasing a repossessed property or displacing disgruntled renters, you may need to ensure that no last-minute damage was done (think writing on walls, stolen appliances, moving out party etc.).

The commute is too long

The commute is too long
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At a certain point, a commute becomes a burden. If your commute is taking valuable time away from your family or personal goals, look for a home closer to your work. It may be worth downsizing to a smaller home instead of losing too many hours out of every workday.

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Roof leaks

Roof leaks
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Building inspectors can find a lot of things wrong with a house but they don’t catch everything all the time. Some building inspectors won’t climb on a roof, crawl under the floor or inspect underground pipes and septic tanks – all things that can cost you in the long run – so it’s important to make sure your building inspector comes from a reputable company.

Wiring

Wiring
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If the home you have fallen in love with was built in the 1950s or ’60s, determine if the wiring has been retrofitted properly. Earlier systems can become increasingly dangerous and unsafe as time passes and could be a fire hazard.

Not saving enough

Not saving enough
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A 2017 survey of 2,200 home buyers and mortgage applicants found that the biggest regret for millennial buyers was they wished they’d saved more money before buying a house. More than 10% of respondents no longer felt financially secure after they bought their home.

Not doing enough research

Not doing enough research
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Nearly half of the respondents in a survey said they’d do something different if they could. Near the top of the list of things they’d do better the second time around was doing more research. A total of 41% of people who applied for a mortgage felt they weren’t aware of all of their loan options and all of the costs associated with buying a house.

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team