It’s easy enough to get excited about buying a new home. Perhaps this is your first real-estate purchase. Or maybe you’re upgrading from a starter house. Whatever the case, don’t just blindly go for the first good place that you see or you may suffer from buyer’s remorse later on. Avoid these common homebuyer mistakes.

Not knowing what you can afford

You’ve spent weeks looking for the perfect house with just the right number of bedrooms, a beautiful backyard, enough square footage for the family, and an excellent location close to shops and your work. You put in an offer only to discover that nobody will finance you because you don’t make enough to afford what you want. To avoid this disappointment and embarrassment, get prequalified with a lender. They’ll look at what down payment you have, your income, and your expenses to determine the price range of home you should be looking at. You can then confine your search to homes in that range.

Being too picky

The only way you’re going to get the perfect house is to have it custom-built. Otherwise, if you insist that a pre-built house meet 100 percent of your needs, you’ll never find something to move into. Settle on a few must-haves, a few deal-breakers, and some nice-to-haves. If you find something that meets about 80 percent of these criteria, then you’ve found a home you can live with.

No inspection

Some structural defects are obvious, such as worn siding or broken windows. Others are not, such as inadequate plumbing or dangerous electrical connections. The only way you can be sure that nothing defectives lurks unseen in the home is to insist on a housing inspection as a condition of your purchase. Inspectors are professional trained to go through every nook and cranny and uncover issues that are invisible to the untrained eye. While this process may delay the closing slightly, it may uncover problems that may compel you to cancel deal or you can use to negotiate the purchase price even lower.

Doing it alone

Buying a home is a complicated affair that involves filling out reams of paperwork and following exacting legal and professional standards. Miss any one of the steps and you can invalidate your purchase The only way you can be sure that everything is done correctly is to get the help of a real-estate agent. She’ll show you homes that may have not hit market yet, negotiate a good price, and ensure the process is as efficient and trouble-free as she can make it. Besides, she costs you nothing because the seller pays the commission. So what do you have to lose?

A home is most likely the single-biggest purchase you’ll make in your entire life. It’s also a 30-year commitment that’s difficult and time-consuming to get out of if you have second thoughts. Take your time and avoid these common homebuyer mistakes so you can make a great investment.

Need inspiration for your new home? I recommend going to Modernize for ideas, inspiration and tips!