First Time Buyer Fears – 5 Reasons Renters Hesitate to Buy a Home

Posted on January 2, 2012. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

First time buyer Orange CountyAs first time buyer specialists, we’re constantly helping buyers address their fears about purchasing real estate. Some are very valid, while others are simply fear of the unknown. If you know someone going through pre-homebuying drama , please share this post with them, so they know they’re not alone, and understand how to overcome! 🙂

1. Fear of getting rejected.

There are WAY too many renters missing out on today’s buyer’s market simply because they are afraid to get qualified. They’re afraid that one bill they forgot to pay 5 years ago or those charged off accounts from college will keep them from buying a home forever. This is NOT true!! Everyone has dings on their credit, it does not mean you’ll be excluded from buying a home.  At least talk to a lender and see what steps you need to take next to get qualified.  Interest rates are ROCK BOTTOM right now, you owe it to yourself to try 🙂

2. Fear of losing good faith deposit.

A typical California ‘Good faith’ deposit (GFD) is 3% of the purchase price. Buyers write a ‘Good faith’ check and submit it with their offer, and if their offer is selected, the check is cashed and the escrow process begins. We’ve seen lots of buyers hesitate to write this check because they believe once the check clears, they MUST buy that property. In California, this is FAR from the truth. Your GFD is simply funds you as the buyer put forward to show your commitment to the property as you do your due diligence. During this due diligence contingency period, you can decide against the property and have your deposit returned for any reason, so don’t lose a great property because you are in fear of making a deposit!

3. Fear of overpaying.

Even though today’s buyers know the market better than ever with access to the MLS via internet and home value apps everywhere, buyers are still afraid to make a move in fear they will have ‘overpaid’ for a property they fell in love with, and be stuck underwater for years and years. (Sound like any renters you know??) Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you are paying CASH for a property, it’s impossible for you to overpay, because there are systems of checks and balances in place to ensure this does not happen. During your ‘due diligence’ period, your lender is also doing their due diligence to make sure this is a solid property to loan you money on. The lender will send out an appraiser, and the appraiser’s sole job is to confirm the property is worth the price you offered on it. So rest easy knowing the bank will never loan you more money than the property is worth, even if you wanted to overpay. Plus, having an experienced buyers agent as your Realtor will also help you avoid overpaying, so you’re double covered 🙂

4. Fear of choosing a lemon.

We’ve all seen “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks….YIKES! There are a lot of people out there who believe sellers will lie, cheat and steal to get their property sold. (and sometimes they may try to!) Fortunately for today’s homebuyers, a property inspection is conducted to ensure the home you love is not a lemon. There are quality home inspectors all over Orange County and they will inspect your property while its in escrow to make sure all the electrical, plumbing, appliances and structure is in working order. After a buyer’s inspection is complete, it is also typical to submit a ‘request for repairs’ to the seller with a list of items you would like addressed before moving into the property. Every property will have its problems, but buyers will always go into the situation with eyes wide open as long as they get a a property inspection with a quality inspector.

5. Fear of overextending.

Another completely valid buyer fear is over extension. “What if I bite off more than I can chew”? “What if I get laid off”? “What if I need to move”? These are all GOOD things to consider, but, they are not reasons why you should rent in fear the rest of your life. Actually, if you rent until you retire, you’re going to have a lot of reasons to worry how you’ll keep the roof over your head. Ideally, you’ll purchase a property, pay down the mortgage, and live in your paid off property after retirement 😉 In order to safeguard your investment, its a really good idea to have 3-6 months worth of reserves in the bank in case you do lose your job or need to move and find a renter for your property.  Talk to your financial advisor about how much you should have in reserves so you don’t overextend and have to eat ramen noodles for the rest of your life.  Its bad for your health.

What makes you hesitate to buy a home? If you’ve already bought your first property, do you remember your biggest fear when you took the plunge the first time? Please share by commenting below or tweeting @weeksteam or @angieweeks – we’d love to hear your story!!

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    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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