Five Mistakes to Avoid for Tahoe Truckee First-Time Buyers - Truckee Tahoe Radio

Sally Gardner, regional executive for Tahoe Estates Group Tahoe, was interviewed for her monthly real estate update on KTKE Truckee Tahoe Radio 101.5 FM. This month's topic: Five Mistakes to Avoid for Tahoe Truckee First-Time Buyers.

The list of mistakes to avoid is below, but you can get the full details by listening to the interview HERE.

  1. More to it than mortgage payments: Many first-time homebuyers decide to buy when they feel financially ready to take on a mortgage payment but don’t forget about property insurance, property taxes, HOA dues, home maintenance such as snow removal in the wintertime and defensible space maintenance in the summertime, higher electric and gas bills in the wintertime.


  1. Looking for a home first and a loan later: Home buying should always start with getting prequalified, or if you are lucky enough to pay cash, discussing this transaction with your financial advisor. Yes, it’s more fun to look at houses than to sit in a lender’s office and expose all of your financials but knowing where you stand and how much you can afford allows you to make a good financial decision versus an emotional decision. It will also place you in a stronger buying position when you make an offer on a home in our competitive market.


  1. Not getting ‘local’ professional help: You’ll need a great real estate professional, a loan officer or mortgage broker, a title company and perhaps a lawyer. While every rule has its exceptions, generally, first-time homebuyers should not try to deal directly with the listing agent. You’ll want your own representation, and this includes second home buyers. If you have purchased before in another area and visit the Tahoe Truckee area often there are local nuances specific to our area that are best navigated on your behalf by a professional. Start the process by finding an outstanding real estate team – I say team because you need to consider the real estate professional and the company they work for.


  1. Using up savings on the down payment: Spending all or most of your savings on the down payment and closing costs doesn’t leave you with breathing room to handle any unexpected repairs that might pop-up. Make sure you have a rainy-day fund in place. This is especially important in a region like Tahoe Truckee where we have extreme weather variables (e.g., big storms and deep snow).


  1. Getting new loans before the deal is closed or changing jobs. The contract is signed, and the closing is in 30 days. Don’t celebrate just yet by financing another big purchase or changing jobs. Lenders pull credit reports before closing and verify employment to make sure the borrower’s financial situation has not changed since the loan was approved. Any changes on your credit report can jeopardize the closing.