10 mistakes that buyers make that can be avoided

Dan DeCapua will show you the 10 most common mistakes that home buyers make when purchasing a new home. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the ins and outs of the home purchasing process. Let Dan show you how to make the savviest and most educated deal possible.

  1. Using the wrong loan type and not taking advantage of local grants and programs. Make sure you talk to an experienced REALTOR® that will set you in the right direction. Not all lenders are licensed or qualified to take advantage of local programs, of course, they will not tell you there is a better product out there so do your research. View our preferred lenders here.

  1. Waiting too late to start their home search. You need to give yourself 3-4 months before the end of your lease or start of a new job to make sure that you have enough time to find the right home at the right price.

  1. Not understanding closing costs. Buying a home is more than just a down payment so make sure you understand all the costs and fees involved in purchasing.

  1. Skipping a home inspection to save money. Never a good idea. View our list of preferred inspectors.

  1. Hiring an inexperienced REALTOR® or mortgage lender out of obligation to a friend or family member. This can be a tough decision but it’s probably the most important financial decision of your life. Ask your friend or family member for a referral so they can be part of the process and share in your experience.

  1. Buying a home that’s simply too far away. This is a mistake I see far too often. Make sure you think about your future when buying a home because there is one thing you cannot put a price on and that’s… time. If you have to travel over an hour to work and you have a family think about those 2 hours a day and how important they are. View Ann Arbor Area Communities.

  1. Buying a “starter home.” Back in 2005 many people thought they were going to buy a starter home (including myself) and when the bottom dropped out they were stuck. I give every buyer the same advice; “Do not buy a home that you wouldn’t be happy in for 10 years.” There are no guarantees where the market and home prices will go so make a smart decision.

  1. Spending the maximum amount on their pre-approval. Your purchase should be made on the monthly payment and not the final purchase price of the home. Don’t leave yourself “house poor.”

  1. Not starting the pre-approval process early enough. If you are unsure of your credit circumstances and savings make sure you start working with a reputable mortgage lender early in the process. Many credit issued can be resolved in just a few months but don’t wait until it’s too late.

  1. Having unrealistic expectations. I have buyers that have been looking for over 3 years for the “perfect home.” In those 3 years, they have spent over $30,000 on rent and could have made that home that wasn’t quite perfect more than adequate. Be realistic with your wants, needs, and expectations so you don’t drive yourself crazy!

home inspections

how to hire the right inspector

Hiring an Inspector? Here’s what to expect.  

  1. The inspection is visual only. They can’t get behind walls or into the sewer line.

  2. They will check plumbing, electrical, attic and crawl space.

  3. They will provide you with a report with pictures that you can utilize.

  4. Hire someone who is knowledgeable of the area, and tuned into common local issues.

  5. Should be certified! By the way, former builders make great inspectors.

  6. You can have them go over the basics of the home for you, such as where the water heater is located.

  7. The inspector should be objective throughout the process, and not tell you whether or not to buy the house.

  8. Don’t hire an inspector who charges by the hour.

  9. Inspectors should not offer to perform repairs themselves. Conflict of interest much?

  10. They may ask you about secondary inspections to check the roof, plumbing etc.

You're paying the inspector to find everything, so don't be discouraged if they find a lot. You’re looking for bears, not the mice at this point in the process.


closing costs explained

know exactly what to expect at the closing table

What are closing costs and fees?

Closing costs are on top of your down payment and can be 3-5 percent of your purchase price. Make sure you’re working with a realtor who can help you right from the beginning.

  1. Home insurance- for the home and stuff inside.

  2. Property taxes- usually have to be paid up front.

  3. HOA fees and start-up fees- depending on the neighborhood.

  4. Title insurance- protects you and the bank. Proves you own it!

  5. FLood insurance- in flood zones.

  6. Closing fee- to get the closing agent there and sign paperwork

  7. Recording and document prep fees- small charges

  8. Mortgage-related fees- need to be disclosed by the beginning: origination, credit reports, and application.

  9. PMI- private mortgage expenses can be 1% of the loan.

  10. PRE-Closing fees:

    • Inspection $350

    • Radon, pest, and sewer inspections $100-$250

    • Specialist or contractors $Vary

    • Appraisal $350-$475



are you a local investor in the ann arbor area? utilize the knowledge, and resources the spotlight houses team has for access to the hottest investment opportunities in the ann arbor area.

what is a buyers agent?

What’s a buyers agent?

Typically, during a deal, there are buyer and seller agents. Buyer agents are there for YOU.

  1. The commission is free for you (and paid for by the seller.)

  2. Can find local pocket listings you won't find online.

  3. Know the neighborhoods and can help you find a good fit.

  4. Know best loan programs and grants to get you into your dream home.

  5. Can help you find the best properties at the lowest price.

  6. We are YOUR advocate throughout the entire process.

Check out our positive reviews on Zillow. We want to put you in the perfect home too!



Critical Mistakes-avoid them

 7 Mistakes Homebuyers Make in Ann Arbor

  1. Getting crushed by taxes- values are increasing. Make sure you know the projection.

  2. Not running a sewer line inspection- the lines aren’t great around here.

  3. Not using all the loans and grants available to you- make sure you work with a realtor who knows about them all!

  4. Not using a local agent, or relying on a brand new agent- there’s a lot to know about this area.

  5. Forgoing a radon test- they’re cheap and can save your life.

  6. Buying a rental property you can’t rent out- check and double check the rules of the homeowner association.

  7. Underestimating your closing cost. Let us work with you to get you prepared for this fantastic journey!




Loan Programs

Free money! We know lenders specific to these programs!

  1. 0% down for rural development.

  2. 1% down + $7,500 closing cost available from MSHDA.

  3. 0% down for veterans, doctors, and residents with student loan debt.

  4. $7,500 EMU Employee Grant

  5. Portfolio loan for  buyers with bad credit but a large down payment, or seasonal work

  6. 203k loan for fixer-uppers or foreclosures


Have a Question?

Contact Us

Follow Us