Buying a house is more than establishing a new home for you and your family. It is a long-term investment and it is critical to be aware of any mistakes or pitfalls to avoid when buying a home. First-time homebuyers are especially susceptible when purchasing a home. They may feel that they are being cautious but buying a home is a unique and complicated process. Being aware of some mistakes when it comes to buying a home can be very helpful, regardless if it is your first home or not.

For starters, it is crucial not only to be aware of your budget, but also to stick to it. Just watch any of the plethora of television programs related to buying and selling homes (and there are a LOT of them out there). Almost every one of these programs revolve around the drama that evolves from budgeting. Sticking to a budget is important not only when it comes to buying the home, but is also critical when it comes to maintaining the home. Be sure that the ensuing mortgage payments are within your ability, keeping in mind that you will be making payments for the better part of 25-30 years in some cases.

It is also a good idea to have a clear understanding of your credit situation. It is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to dealing with financial institutions and obtaining a mortgage for the home. It is also extremely important to go through the process of pre-approval in order to ensure you are in a good situation to put in an offer. When possible try to ensure pre-approval over pre-qualifying. It does make a difference.

Understanding your budget and your credit situation is a critical aspect of the process, however you do not want to lose sight of the big picture… the current market. Is it a ‘buyers market’ or a ‘sellers market’? Keep in mind that the real estate market is in constant flux. Be sure to develop a good relationship with your real estate agent as they will have a feel for the pulse of the market. After all, just because you are financially ready to buy a home doesn’t mean that it is actually the best time to do so.

Make sure and look at all of the factors that come into play in the real estate process before you jump into anything. In other words, try to avoid common mistakes when buying a home. You’ll be better off in the long run.