16 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

By Zach Wichter, Bankrate.com

Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience: a high-stakes adventure that can leave you feeling elated and exhausted all at the same time. And, as a newbie, it’s easy to make (sometimes costly) mistakes if you don’t know how the homebuying process works.

Whether you are a brand-new house hunter or one returning to the market after many years, you can sidestep potential pitfalls by understanding the basics of homebuying and home financing, and knowing what questions to ask. Here’s a list of some easy first-time homebuyer mistakes to make — and how to avoid them.

If you’re buying your first home, the tips below can help you avoid some common first-time homebuyer mistakes while home-hunting, mortgage-shopping and moving in.

1. Looking for a home before applying for a mortgage

When you’re buying your first house, it’s common to start viewing homes before ever getting in front of a mortgage lender. In today’s market, you may find that housing inventory is tight because there’s far more buyer demand than affordable homes on the market.