There are more homebuyers on the fence today than ever before.
With a growing number of loan programs available coupled with increased inventory, now is a great time to buy. However, there are many potential buyers still apprehensive about starting the process. They are worried about not timing the market right, getting a bad mortgage or committing to homeownership. Like many things in life there is a level of blind faith associated with buying a home. You can do hours of research and diligence, but it still won’t prepare you for the unknown. Homebuying fear is common, but it shouldn’t paralyze you from taking action. Here are the four most common homebuyer fears and how to get past them.
Buying At The Wrong Time.It is impossible to buy at the exact bottom of the market. You may get lucky without even knowing it, but timing the market is like hitting a moving target. Things often change that are out of your control and waiting for things to align is futile. What usually ends up happening is that you wait and wait and end up doing nothing. As long as you are comfortable with the purchase price and the prospects of the market there is no reason to wait. This is magnified if you plan on being in the home for any significant period. Over the course of your ownership the market will go through several changes that impact your homes value. Waiting for the bottom may leaving you renting for a very long time.
Buying The Wrong Property.There is no such thing as the perfect home. You may love 99.9% of a property, but there is always something you wish you could tweak or change. In some cases, these changes are possible but there are other things that are out of your control. This doesn’t mean you need to settle with the home you buy. It means you should realize that buying the perfect home may be more of a fantasy than reality. Make a list of five “must have” items in your home and start from there. These are the items that are non-negotiable. Ask your real estate agent to only show you homes that have these five items. From there you can pick and choose what is truly important to you.
Making The Mortgage Payment.The mortgage crisis is still having an impact on buyers, over a decade ago. Many today’s buyers have a fear of not making their mortgage payment and going into default. They heard stories or directly felt the effects of getting overextended with a housing payment. While you can never be 100% comfortable with your loan payment there are a few things you can do to help put you at ease. The most basic, and obvious, answer is to only look at homes that fit your monthly payment budget. When you start looking it will be tempting to go over your budget just a little bit. Eventually a little bit turns into thousands and before long tens of thousands. Buyers promise they will cut out other bills or make sacrifices for the property, but they rarely do. Stick with your budget, regardless of what you find in your market.
Property Responsibility. You will never be fully ready to own a home. Homeownership is like being a parent in that you can read all the books you want, but until you bring your child home you really don’t know what to expect. Owning a home is obviously much different than renting, but you will figure it out. Without even knowing it you will learn about the fuse box, how to use power tools and what to do when the power goes out. You will learn the importance of a low mill rate for tax payments and what is in your attic. Owning a home is an adjustment, but it shouldn’t keep you from starting your search.
Buying a home is filled with plenty of nervous moments and apprehension. Once you get the keys it will all be worth it. Don’t let fear of buying stop you from looking.