Despite how intensely people glorify the "life achievement" of buying your first home, for most folks, it's anything but enjoyable. In fact, I'll be the first to tell you that it can downright suck.
1. "If you're buying a home that's part of an HOA, do your research...but honestly, any HOA can go from being really cool to really not cool by just switching out those on the board. Mine isn't the worst, but they're definitely not the best. I got a warning letter for having a wreath that was deemed 'too Christmasy.'"
2. "My boyfriend and I run an inspection business. Keep in mind that inspectors are not required to do a lot! They are only required to look at things within their eyesight and are not required to lift things like rugs, or even look behind things. They are not required to inspect the roof or plumbing, either. A great inspector will go above and beyond, but they are not required to do as much as you'd think. I'd highly recommend getting someone to look at the septic system and plumbing with a camera. I lost $10,000 on an old home that needed updates in this area."
3. "Watch out for flipped houses. They seem nice and new, but a lot of them are thrown together as fast as possible with as-cheap-as-possible materials. Bring in someone to properly inspect the quality of work!"
4. "Honestly, looking at listings online is a waste of time. The vast majority aren’t updated in real-time, so you'll frequently see something as being available when, in reality, it’s under contract or sold. Plus, listings aren’t always on there immediately. The MLS that realtors use and have access to is much better, especially in a market where things sell the same day they list."
"Agree! Get a good realtor. Their commission comes from the sale, so you don’t pay them upfront or anything. You need real-time info and access to look at the homes you’re interested in. Not for nothing, my realtor also doubled as a therapist and talked us off several ledges during all the stress we experienced."