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Santa Barbara First Time Home Buyers Avoid Rookie Mistakes

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No matter how broad your previous life experiences may have been, buying a home is a very big deal. For a first time buyer, whether here in Santa Barbara or anywhere else, the impact of that life-changing purchase is doubly impactful. It affects different people in different ways, but after the dust clears, there is one emotion I never want a first-time buyer clients to feel: remorse.

You might think that the size of the transaction makes it wildly unlikely that even a first time buyer would overlook any major missteps. After all, when you are new to such an important purchase, you are bound to be extra cautious. Yet when you consider the challenging distractions along the way (going through your first mortgage approval process; scraping together a down payment; learning how inspections proceed, etc.) it’s easy to see how they can trip up a first time buyer. Getting any one of them dealt with can become a main preoccupation…so much so, that seemingly minor issues get overlooked. It’s part of my job to do my best to see that my Santa barbara first time buyer clients stay vigilant on all fronts.

Common concerns to watch for:

Foundation Problems – The true frustration of dealing with a home with foundation problems is something a first time buyer may not fully appreciate. They aren’t for the faint of heart (or the faint of pocket book).  Foundation problems can cost $50,000 for even a simple fix -- but a first time home buyer usually doesn’t have that expectation. If an inspection reveals any sort of foundation issue, it’s an absolute ‘must’ to call in the experts to assess the severity of the problem – no matter what the time pressures may be.

Faulty Siding -  Expensive to fix and ugly to look at, improperly-installed siding was a big problem in the 1980s and 1990s. While many of those issues have been addressed by now, bad siding can still plague a new homeowner.  Believe it or not, it can cost as much as $25,000 to $150,000 to replace. Anyone considering a home built in the 80’s or 90’s should be sure to pay extra attention to the siding during inspections.

Special Assessments – Agents dread seeing the words “special assessment” on a listing: these are additional costs to a homeowner in a condo or homeowners association that any project, repair or unexpected cost can trigger.  The cost to re-side a condominium complex, for example, can easily run into the $100,000 range, typically divided among the homeowners.