3 costs you shouldn’t cut while buying a home

It’ll be two years in September that I bought my first house. It was a crazy, confusing experience that was in the end worth while, made smooth as possible with Mindy as my real estate agent/Mom. Here’s some of the wisdom I learned:

  1. GET AN INSPECTION. This was the most worthwhile $400 that we paid. When you get the paperwork with all the fees and money that will have to be spent, your mind goes into “cut everything you don’t need” mode. But you need to remember that even a small issue in the house can easily exceed the amount the inspection. Also, buyers need to remember it’s a great negotiating tool to get a lower price and/or repairs. My husband and I were able to negotiate about $1300 of repairs with the owner, and the inspection more than paid for itself.
  2. GET THE HOME WARRANTY. That’s an extra $400-$450 at closing, but I don’t regret having ours one bit. A home warranty is basically a form of insurance that helps cover items that if they break are usually expensive to repair but underneath or excluded by your home insurance. For instance, water heaters breaking. That’s a $1200 repair…not worth reporting to your insurance, but certainly not cheap. Home warranties help cover that gap. If you have enough money in savings for those kinds of repairs, then don’t take it. But if you can’t, it’ll bring you peace of mind. This helped us out A LOT when our air conditioner stopped working the first year in our house.
  3. USE AN AGENT. I may be a little biased on this one, but it helped us a lot especially since we were first time home buyers. There is so much paperwork and so many people involved, it really helped to have someone in our corner to keep everything straight. She helped us from discussing how much house we could afford to giving us names of contractors to make minor repairs after we moved in. And she didn’t just do it cause she’s my Mom, but because she’s a really good agent.