Egypt Sherrod knows a thing or two about what you should and shouldn’t do when buying your first home. She may be best known as the host of HGTV’s Property Virgins but she’s been a licensed real estate agent for 15 years, and she’s also the author of Keep Calm… It’s Just Real Estate: Your No-Stress Guide to Buying a Home.
Here are a few of her don’ts:
Don’t expect your search to resemble a TV house hunt.
“You may see only three house tours on TV, but trust me we do a lot more than that in real life. The national average is 12 homes before someone commits to buying. Some see three, because they watch the show and think that’s all they’re supposed to see. Some will have me put on my track shoes and I’m showing them 50 or more homes,” Sherrod says.
Everybody’s journey is different when buying your first home. “This is the biggest purchase you’re probably going to make in your life, so you want to make sure it’s right.”
Don’t compromise on location, even for a great house.
“You’re not just buying the house, you’re buying the neighborhood and everyone in it. When you go outside of those doors, is it safe? How are your interactions going to be with your neighbors?” Sherrod says these are all things to consider when buying your first home.
“And sometimes people buy a house and say ‘I’m going to be here for 10 to 15 years.’ Never happens. Especially with first-time homebuyers, on average they sell their house after five to seven years. You could fall in love with someone in a different state. Your job could relocate you. So you always want to consider that resale value as well.”
Don’t make big purchases while you’re waiting.
“When you’re waiting for your closing, the bank is watching you every step of the way. If they’re going to lend you money to buy a house, they want to know that the amount of money you say you have for your down payment and in reserve is really going to be there. Plus, they’re watching your shopping patterns to see if you’re lend-worthy,” she says.
Don’t go on any major spending sprees until after you close. And definitely don’t finance a new car or furniture for that new house, or you could be putting your mortgage financing in jeopardy. “Just wait until you have the keys in your hand. Then go ahead and do whatever you want to do after that.”