Buying a new home can be quite a daunting experience.

In fact, most of us are out there just trying to find the right property at the right price.

Whether you’re the new kid on the block or a house-hunting professional, it is easy to become complacent, make silly mistakes and let your emotions get the better of you.

Learning from these mistakes is a common part of growing up.

But what if you were to know what house hunting mistakes to avoid before they come to light?

Well, we are not quite miracle workers, but we do know a thing or two about buying a house.

To help ease the pain we have compiled 6 of the most common house hunting mistakes people make when buying their next home.

So, sit back, relax, maybe a little Barry White to set the mood and let’s get started on the journey to finding your next home. 

1. Not being realistic about your budget

We are not saying don’t buy your dream home.

We are saying, make sure your dream home falls inside the walls of your budget. Just because there is a ceiling on how much the bank is willing to lend you, does not mean you have to spend it all.

Buying your new home should be one of the best experiences of your life. Heck, you’re moving into your very own place for Pete’s sake. So, make sure to pick out a home that falls comfortably within your price range.

It’s human nature to want to ‘live the Australian dream’.

A lovely big house with a view, spacious living area and a pool. But if this is not a realistic financial option then you risk putting yourself under significant mortgage stress.

First, it’s a good idea to get your budget in order, while factoring in the hidden costs and other expenses associated with purchasing your new home. Start at the low end of the scale and slowly work your way up, you may strike gold and find something perfectly suited to your needs.

The aim is to find a house you can comfortably afford, that allows you to continue to live life the way you want to live it.

Financial strain will only cause you pain.

So stick to your budget and choose a house you love, for a price that you can afford.  

Not researching the market and local area

Buying a house is likely one of the biggest purchases of your entire life.

So, it’s paramount that you research the area you are looking to buy in. This way you mitigate the risk of paying too much for a property or investing in a money pit.

The last thing you want is to be spending thousands on general maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Or buying in a neighbourhood with rowdy neighbours, street hooligans and hoon drivers roaring up and down your street till the crack of dawn.

You may need to consider school zoning and catchment areas, public transport options, planned developments, safety and crime rate, shopping facilities and more. These features can make or break your next home. Choose wisely and you could be living the high life in your beautiful new home. Make a rash decision and you could be paying for it for the rest of your life.

Falling in love

You have finally found it. Your dream home. You’re bubbling with emotion and cannot see yourself living anywhere else.

That’s great… But!

Be careful. It’s important to keep your emotions in check.

A selling agent’s job is to get the best possible price for their respective clients, and they can smell fresh meat a mile off.

Remain calm and keep your cool. 

Emotions can cloud your judgement, causing you to make rash decisions and pay more than the property is worth. 

The asking price of a selling agent will generally be higher than the owner is willing to accept. In most markets (except boom periods) houses will tend to sell for substantially less than their asking price. Around 5-10% less in some cases.

So, look to play the long game. Or source a professional buyer’s agent to help negotiate on your behalf.

It’s imperative you base your decisions on research and clear logic rather than acting on impulse.

Rushing the buying process

Buying a property out of frustration is a recipe for disaster.

We get it, you have been searching for a house for months on end. You’re tired, stressed and just want the emotional roller coaster to be over. But it is important to remember:

Buying a house is not a race.

By acting on impulse and rushing out of frustration you risk buying a house that is not right for you. This can end up costing you a fortune in agent commission fees, closing costs, moving expenses and more if you then decide to re-sell. 

So, if you feel things are starting to become a little too much, either take a step back and stop looking for a while or look at bringing in a buyer’s agent to help save you time, negotiate a better deal on your behalf and reduce the risk of finding a home that doesn’t quite fit your needs.

Not having a building inspection

A building inspection is an essential part of the house hunting process. Unfortunately, a lot of people cut corners trying to save money or rush the buying process by not getting their next house properly inspected by a professional.

A small fee upfront could save you thousands in the long run.

Building inspectors will check over the property for any structural issues, pest infestations, electrical, gas and water concerns and the all-around physical condition of the house itself. Not everything is visible to the naked eye so it’s important to get the house inspected to make sure you’re not left with any hefty maintenance or repair costs.

Riding solo

Remember – buying a property is one of the biggest purchases you will likely make in your entire life.

Most sellers will have an agent in their corner, advising and protecting their interests as they look to negotiate the best deal for their clients.

Look to fight fire with fire.

You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer, so why buy a house without similar protection.

Engaging with a highly skilled buyer’s agent will afford you the same security the seller has. Albeit in your corner looking out for your best interests.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed or let your emotions cloud your judgement. So, letting a qualified professional take the reins on your behalf will help reduce the risk of being ripped off, negotiate a better deal, and help you land your dream home.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

Buying property should be one of the best experiences of your entire life.

It’s important to stay cool, calm, and collective to avoid making poor buying decisions. The bottom line is to take your time, be realistic with your budget and keep your emotions in check. This allows you to make a purchase based on clear research and logic that fits your needs and your lifestyle.