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10 First-time Homebuyer Mistakes


Mistake 6: Not Considering Home Resale Value

Put yourself in the seller's shoes and consider how easily you'd be able to turn around and sell the house yourself.
Put yourself in the seller's shoes and consider how easily you'd be able to turn around and sell the house yourself.
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As a homebuyer, the process of selling a house may not cross your mind yet. After making the difficult decision to buy your first house, you may even feel obligated to live there forever.

However, life is full of unexpected changes. Job transfers, family illnesses, falling in love with someone who lives on the other side of the country -- any of these might call you to pick up and leave your beloved house behind at any time. Or, say you were to fall on hard financial times and your mortgage payments, which seem reasonable now, later become a major liability. If or when the time comes, will your house be easy to sell? And will selling it give you a nice sum to put down on another home?

You're making an investment, so it would be a mistake to ignore these questions. When you are looking at particular houses, it may be a good idea to consider the preferences of other typical homebuyers -- not just your own [source: Greary]. Maybe this means choosing a home that has several bathrooms and a nice big yard even if you have no personal preference about these features. And it helps to know about the loud factory nearby. Although you may be a sound sleeper in the early mornings, your future prospective buyers may not be. It also helps to know if developers plan to improve the neighborhood soon, which may boost the value after you purchase a home.

When you're shopping for a house, if you already know you want to resell it later, keep in mind that you're taking a risk. If you've have seen house flipping shows, where nonprofessionals intend to buy, renovate and sell a home, you have an idea about how difficult and unpredictable selling a house can be. Don't bank on the idea that you'll come out ahead.

In the next section, we'll learn whether a realtor's advice is as good as gold.