When it comes to buying a house, especially for the first time, the thrill of such a life-changing moment can lead to buyers not fully thinking things through.
Susan Johnson, a real estate broker who works primarily in Tomball, Magnolia, Conroe and The Woodlands, said unprepared buyers are often met with surprises after closing a deal. However, she said there are precautions that can be taken to minimize those surprises.
The biggest problem for unprepared home buyers extends from not fully understanding the cost, Johnson said. Buyers often mistake being pre-qualified for a loan as evidence they are financially ready to buy a house.
"Just because you can afford a payment does not make it the smart thing to do," Johnson said. "Figure out what your other bills are and make a budget. Don't buy just because they say you are pre-qualified."
Before purchasing a house, Johnson strongly advocates hiring a home inspector to survey the property.
"A good inspector will go through everything in the house, and get up on the roof taking detailed photos," said Jerald Brown with North Star Montgomery County Home Inspections. "Building codes are much looser in Texas. We've never inspected a house where we did not find multiple errors."
Because of inclement weather in Texas, such as hurricanes, Brown said it is important to look for foundational issues, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars if not addressed properly. He also said the age of the house is important to consider when checking for things like asbestos and lead paint.
"When looking at older homes from the '70s and '80s, we often find hundreds of items worth taking note of," he said.