5 Common House Hunting Mistakes

House hunting can be an exciting time for most people. However the search for the perfect house is a process, no matter if it's the first time or just one of the many in a lifetime. There are many common mistakes that house hunters can make during this process. Before buying, consider the following mistakes and tips to avoid them.

1The Desperate Purchase
The desperate purchase is often the result of rushing to buy a house. This could be the result of selling a home without purchasing another, or just a case of house hunting fatigue. Planning is key; desperate purchases are permanent, so a little forethought can go a long way in choosing a house to buy. House hunting fatigue often creeps in after months of looking but not finding the perfect home. When the pressure to find a house is high, desperate purchases are more common. To avoid buying a house that you will regret in a few months, take the time to look longer or explore alternatives before buying. Temporarily moving to a rental property until the right house comes along may be a very wise alternative.

2The Sell Out
The sell out is typically the result of listening to an aggressive realtor, who has convinced you that you will never find the exact house that you were looking for on the market, and that you should consider something else. You sell out your dreams and settle for a house that leaves you less than excited to move into. Another type of sell out happens when buyers become preoccupied with certain neighborhoods or areas and are willing to sell out quality for a location. Sometimes this works, but most sell out purchases don't hold their value. A closet-sized house in an upscale section of town may not feel as cozy in a few years.

3Breaking the Bank
This mistake is similar to the idea of being "house poor." Most house hunters enter the real estate search with a certain budget in mind. This is often a range of house prices that can be quite broad, depending on the amount you approve for. Selecting a house that stretches into the upper limits of affordability could be a problem if paying the mortgage depends on an income that will stay the same or grow over the next 15-30 years. Pouring all of your savings and a large percentage of the weekly paycheck into a house may not be as comfortable to do in five or ten years. If it means that you have to sacrifice eating out and taking vacations until the mortgage is paid off, the house is probably going to break your bank account.

4It's a Real "Fixer-Upper"
Every house has some potential, and fixer-uppers tend to hypnotize some potential buyers into believing that a house that is listed in "as is" condition can be rehabilitated into the mansion of their dreams. The initial price may be cheap but the costs associated with repairing or rehabilitating a fixer-upper house can quickly add up. There are some people who can benefit from buying this type of house, but if you will need to hire out for major repairs you may want to reconsider.

5Built in 1950, Designed by Donna Reed
A house that may be sound in value can be strikingly outdated in the interior decorating arena and could become very expensive to update. Sometimes the homes have great value, but the previous owners never bothered to update the interior in the forty years of living there. There is a difference between cosmetic changes such as painting, and more extensive changes to an interior such as putting in new kitchen cabinets, flooring, and countertops. The less work that you have to do to the interior when you move in, the more money for the mortgage. Interior redecorating costs can add up, and some new homeowners may come to find that they cannot make immediate changes to the interior after moving in. Others plan to make changes and just never seem to find the right time, leaving them with a home that is part modern, part Donna Reed style.