John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Five Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes (Plus a few of my own)

1. They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.

2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.

3. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process.

4. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.

5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted with permission.

Note from John Elwell - REALTOR®: Here are a few that I would add to this list.

* Get prequalified for your financing before you begin your search. Otherwise you are wasting your time and that of your agent looking at homes that are beyond your price limits.

* Make sure that in a worst case scenario, say one of you becomes unemployed, you can still afford to make your mortgage payments. Adjustable rate mortgages can be a surprise down the road. Perhaps you would be more comfortable with a fixed-rate loan that will remain the same over the years.

* Keep in mind that other costs are involved in home ownership, ie. insurance, property taxes, repairs, maintenance, utilities, homeowner association fees, special city/county assessments, etc. If you do not plan for these you could be strapped at the end of each month.

* Know the difference between a seller who is wildly over-priced and one who has placed a reasonable price on his or her home. If you have a good agent, he or she can advise you as to what similar homes have sold for. This will help you formulate your initial offer.

* If you decide to "come in very low" on your first offer, do not then ask for the world, such as furnishings, a home warranty, seller assistance with down payments, etc. The seller will think you are trying to take him or her for a ride, and could react very negatively. Some may even refuse to look at future offers.

* Bear in mind that over the long run real estate has always been a good investment. But, just like the stock market, in the short term prices can go down. If you overpay, you could lose money in a year's time. However, the longer you own a property the better you will weather temporary ups-and-downs of the housing market. So if you know from the onset that you will only be in a home a year or two, proceed with caution so that you will not get caught in a downward housing trend.

If you have any questions or need more information about this topic, or real estate in general, please feel free to call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at:

I also invite you to visit my website where I think you will find a lot of useful information. To get there just click on the following link:

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 0 commentsJohn Elwell • July 01 2008 09:11PM


This blog does not allow anonymous comments