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  • Writer's pictureKelly Gibbs

Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Buying A Home

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

It’s both exciting and a little scary to buy your [first or next or…] home. That feeling of nervousness and not knowing what to expect is normal!

But, what you don’t want to rely on during this process is luck or chance.

Everyone wants to good fortune when it comes to looking for a home, but it comes down to much more than luck when selecting the right home. When buying a house in Cincinnati it takes a strategy from start to finish if you want to find the right home for you, especially this year with home inventory at 40 year lows.

If you are in the market to buy a home in Cincinnati or a neighboring area this year, make sure you steer clear of these mistakes below:

6 Home Buying Mistakes

Top real estate agent Oakley, Cincinnati, Oh

Home Buying Mistake #1: Not knowing how much you can afford.

Think monthly payments first and foremost, not just the purchase price. Next, get pre-approved by a local lender BEFORE you start looking at homes. They may approve you for more than you are comfortable spending per month, so ask them to approve you for the monthly payments you want to spend, not the highest purchase price possible.

Make sure you understand the correlation between your purchase price, monthly payments and down payment required. This is different for every home buyer. Your friend at the office might be able to afford a much more expensive house by putting more down, for example, so make sure you know what your particular situation is and look for homes accordingly. You also should take into account not just the cost of the home, but also the cost of utilities, repairs and maintenance. Here in Cincinnati the tax rate can vary depending on where you buy. This will adjust and be based off the new purchase price within a few months after closing, so make sure you and your lender are factoring that in ahead of time too.

jar of money

Home Buying Mistake #2: Not realizing that the wrong mortgage can cost thousands of dollars of needless interest.

You might qualify for an FHA mortgage, but you have HUGE monthly mortgage insurance premiums that drive up your monthly payments. Plus, there are some great loan programs available right now that can save you hundreds of dollars a month.

For example, a 5% down loan where you don’t pay any private mortgage insurance. There are all sorts of loan options available these days and the “right” one is based on your particular financial situation and how long you plan to own your home. One loan definitely does not fit all, so do your homework and know the options. That way you can decide what is the right choice for you!

home inspector

Home Buying Mistake #3: Not discovering hidden defects before you buy a home.

Never buy a home without a professional home inspection. But even before you reach that point, YOU need to know what the potential problems are in the home.

From the get-go, ask the seller questions such as:

*How old is the heating and air conditioning system? Water heater?

*When was the roof last replaced?

*Are the windows newer?

*Has the house been treated for termites in the last 3-5 years?

*Does the current owner have a pest control plan in place?

Often there are warning signs such as water damage that the seller doesn’t necessarily need to disclose, but you can see when you are looking at the home more closely.

copy of credit report

Home Buying Mistake #4: Not knowing how much your credit can affect your ability to buy a home.

Lenders are tougher now and you need to have a decent credit score to get a low interest rate. About 3 – 6 months before you want to buy a home, start monitoring your credit online. You can go to websites such as and pull your own credit for free. Do this very early on, before you start looking at homes, so you don’t have any surprises.

Most credit issues can be repaired but it can take a few months, so if you aren’t monitoring your credit on a regular basis, check it early on in the process.

first-time homebuyer program post-it

Home Buying Mistake #5: Not knowing about all the great first-time buyer programs out there from state and local agencies.

Don’t make this mistake! Many of these programs are only for first-time homebuyers and you don’t want to miss out of this opportunity. You can reap HUGE savings! There are down payment assistance grants and zero percent interest loans. There are even programs that exclude you from having to pay property taxes if your income qualifies! I can help you with these programs and determine if you qualify for them.

person holding reminder to ask questions when buying a house

Home Buying Mistake #6: Not asking questions if you’re confused or need clarification.

There are no stupid questions when you are making the biggest purchase of your life. Don’t hesitate to ask questions! The best agents are there to help you along the way and want to help educate you on the process from start to finish.


In all seriousness though, you’ve got to be one step ahead when it comes time to finding your [next or first] home in this market. This article shows you how to do just that so you’ll be prepared and avoid some unnecessary mistakes.

And, if you are thinking of buying a home sometime this year, reach out to me and let me know. I would love to work with you! This year especially comes down to planning and prepping WELL before you want to make a move in the Cincinnati real estate market.

Together, we’ll make a plan that works for you, your timeline, and your budget and then put it into action when you say GO! This is just one of the ways we can make buying a home in this crazy market not just doable but actually enjoyable. Plus its the best way to become a happy homeowner!

Kelly Gibbs, Cincinnati Realtor

The above article “Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Buying A Home” was provided by Kelly Gibbs. Kelly can be reached via email at or by phone at 513-290-6216. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home or investment property in the Cincinnati area I would love to share my marketing knowledge and expertise to help you! Contact me today!

I service the following Greater Cincinnati, OH areas: Amberly, Anderson Township, City of Cincinnati, Clifton, Columbia Tusculum, Blue Ash, Deer Park, Hyde Park, Indian Hill, Kennedy Heights, Kenwood, Loveland, Madeira, Madisonville, Mariemont, Mason, Milford, Montgomery, Mt. Lookout, Mt. Washington, Newtown, North Avondale, Northside, Norwood, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Silverton, Sycamore Township, Symmes Township, and Walnut Hills.


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