By Pat Curry
David Weekley, CEO of Houston-based David Weekley Homes, is one of the country’s largest home builders and also the author of a new book, How to Buy a Home Without Getting Hammered.
Based on 25 years of home-building experience for 30,000 people, Weekley offers these ten biggest mistakes in home buying:
- Not doing your homework. Knowledge is power. Tremendous information is available on the Internet. There is no excuse for entering the market unprepared.
- Trying to make a shrewd investment. People need to buy based on what fits their family. Don’t try to guess what will happen to the market.
- Choosing a poor location. Even within a neighborhood, location matters. Is it on the busiest street? Is there a shopping center out the back window?
- Overlooking an inferior floor plan for an attractive exterior. It may have gorgeous curb appeal, but you don’t live on the lawn. No matter how attractive the exterior, you need a livable home.
- Overlooking how the house will function for your family. How do you really live? Do you really need a formal dining room and living room? Would you be happier with an eat-in kitchen and a great room and a den to use as a home office? The house only needs to fit one family — yours.
- Not having the home properly inspected in a resale. This is not the time for surprises. Get an inspection from a qualified, respected professional.
- Not checking out the builder’s reputation on a new home. Talk to three or four people who live in the builder’s homes and see what they have to say. If one builder did all the houses in a neighborhood, talk to the residents and get their input. It’s also a great way to see what your neighbors would be like.
- Not getting what you want because you’re impatient. This is a big decision. You need time. Impatient decisions can lead to mistakes.
- Waiting for a better market and interest rates. Warren Buffett says the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
- Not buying at all. If you can afford a home and you don’t make that purchase, you’ll lose the benefit of tax deductions, building home equity and the appreciation in value.