Buying a new home is an exciting journey. You save for months or years for your downpayment, make a list of everything you want in your new home and start investigating local properties.

However, as you begin your purchasing process, you should carefully avoid common pitfalls that could turn your dream into a nightmare.

Skipping a detailed budget plan

In December 2023, housing sales dropped to 590,000 sales, a 12.2% drop from November. Many potential buyers wait to purchase a home due to budgetary challenges. One of the biggest mistakes prospective homeowners make involves not setting a detailed budget. Consider homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, potential repairs and maintenance, closing costs and mortgage payments in your new budget.

Foregoing pre-approval for a mortgage

Before you start your real estate journey, it is wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This process helps you understand how much you can borrow and shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. Skipping this step could lead to disappointment if you find your dream home but cannot secure financing in time.

Neglecting to research the neighborhood

The allure of a beautiful house can sometimes overshadow the importance of researching the neighborhood. Before making an offer, explore the area. Consider factors like schools, amenities and safety.

Ignoring inspection contingencies

An inspection contingency allows buyers to uncover any potential issues with the property before finalizing the purchase. Skipping this important step could leave you stuck with costly repairs or structural problems after closing. Always insist on a thorough inspection by a qualified professional before signing any contracts.

While it is natural to feel excited about finding the perfect home, avoid getting too attached. Stay objective during the buying process, and carefully evaluate each property based on its merits and potential drawbacks.