The biggest regrets of first-time home buyers

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Not sticking to the budget - This is of utmost importance. Calculate all expenses before you close a deal, and make sure you can afford it.

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Not paying attention to old paint - Old properties might have lead-based paint. Make sure you test this before buying.

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Leaks - Unfortunately, not all leaks are visible. Make sure your inspector looks at the walls, the roof, pipes, and other areas such as septic tanks.

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Not checking the wiring - Electrical wiring can be a problem, particularly in older properties. Make sure they've been retrofitted to today's safety standards.

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Buying a home that's too small - Size matters when it comes to where you live. While you might not need three spare bedrooms, err on the side of "bigger is better."

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Not hiring a real estate agent - The seller's real estate agent will act in the interest of their client, not yours. Having a professional on your side should help.

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Not changing the locks - Even if you know and trust your new home's previous owners, you don't know who had or still has a spare key. Better safe than sorry.

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Buying at the wrong time - While you can't predict market fluctuations, it's likely that you'll get a better deal if you buy when most people don't: in the fall and winter.

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Not knowing the area - Many first-time buyers regret not taking the time to know the neighborhood in advance.

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Not checking the fire alarms - Do not rely on the previous owners and check if every single fire alarm is working.

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Not getting a home warranty - Getting a warranty that covers things such as appliances is always a good thing. You can negotiate this with the seller in some cases.

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Buyer's remorse - The process of buying a house can be pretty stressful, so it's natural to feel buyer's remorse at some point. It's okay–it will all be worth it in the end!

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