Common Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to buying a home, many people lead with their heart. However, getting wrapped up in the emotion of the experience can cause you to overlook some important details. If you aren’t careful, you might make some major mistakes that can delay – or even prevent – closing on the home you’ve chosen. Here are some common home buying mistakes to avoid:

Failing to Get Pre-Approved

In today’s market, heading to the bank or mortgage company to be pre-qualified should be one of your first steps when you start thinking about buying a home. The process is relatively painless and can help you get a realistic picture of what sort of home you can really afford. Pre-qualification also signals to sellers and agents that you’re ready to buy and that you have no interest in wasting their time.

When taking out a home loan, make sure to understand the basic process, how your credit score will be taken into consideration, the avenues where you can get a loan, and the types of loans that are available to you.

Misunderstanding The Total Price Tag

Even if you have an idea of your budget, many homebuyers fail to set a specific price ceiling for the home they can afford. When hunting for homes, ask your lender to discuss closing costs with you – beyond a simple down-payment, there are often other fees associated with getting a loan and can add up quickly.

Inspections, title insurance, and legal fees should all be a part of your budget planning process from the beginning. There’s nothing more upsetting than having an offer accepted and finding out that you can’t pull the cash together to seal the deal.

Skipping the Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

Skimping on your home inspection could seem like a money-saver, but could end up costing you a bundle in future home repairs. You may feel that the money for the inspection would better serve you as part of the down payment, but don’t be tempted to skip it. No matter how nice the house looks, or what the sellers tell you about its condition, always get a house inspected before you buy it. There are so many little details (and potentially major problems) that only a trained professional can spot.

Even if you’re willing to overlook some problems, it’s better to know exactly what you are buying, including any possible issues. A thorough inspection usually costs a few hundred dollars and is worth every penny.

Opting Against A Home Protection Plan

In the event that your home inspector misses a repair or issue with the home prior to your purchase, you can be left with huge repair bills for an unanticipated issue. A home protection plan, which you can arrange through your real estate agent or mortgage company, is a short-term insurance plan to hedge against just this sort of unforeseen issue – usually for a period of one year from the closing date. While they don’t cover every issue of a home, it offers peace of mind and costs are low. The benefits, should you need them, can help.

Failing to Hire a Real Estate Agent

With so many resources for finding homes for sale online, it can be tempting to go it alone. But without a qualified Realtor by your side, you are making yourself vulnerable to being taken advantage of, or not understanding everything in the contract. No one knows the housing marketing or what factors go into a home’s value like a professional real estate agent. When they specialize in the area in which you are looking, a Realtor is familiar with factors like the age of the homes in certain communities, market value, school ratings, traffic and commute details, and accessibility to shopping or public transportation.

All buyers have access to the same real estate websites that you do. As a result, in many markets, homes that show up through these mediums can be snatched up before you can schedule a visit. But with a good agent on your side, you may be shown homes that haven’t even hit the market yet. Armed with your specific requirements, the right agent can have you open the front door for a walk-through before other buyers even know about the property.


At Karen Cannon, Realtors, every agent on our team has been carefully chosen for his or her professionalism, industry knowledge, and connection to the community. We connect buyers and sellers better than anyone because we often know about homes for sale prior to listing. Let us be your advocate throughout the home buying process and help you avoid these common mistakes. We’ll save you time and money, and help you find the home that is perfect for you.

Get started today by exploring Dunwoody real estate, Sandy Springs real estate, and Chamblee real estate.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself about Downsizing

For years after moving out on your own, you spent your time earning, building, and collecting. Maybe over the years, you raised children that are leaving for college or are now adults, or your love for traveling made stuff and space seem less exciting. Have you become an empty-nester? How do you know when it is time to consider downsizing?

At Karen Cannon, Realtors, we see many people and couples wrestle with these thoughts when it comes to their home. We’d like to share our expertise on how you can identify when it is time for you to downsize. Here are four questions you can ask yourself to determine if it is time for your family to downsize.

1.   Are you an empty nester?

This is the most obvious question, with the easiest answer because either yes – your children are grown and have moved out, (and hopefully… it will stay that way!) Or the answer is no – you have kids that need you to keep providing a roof over their head – or maybe they just love your home and neighborhood so much, they don’t want to leave. If you’ve spent years with a full house and the wonderful chaos of parenting when the kids move out you may find yourself feeling like your house is too big now. Empty bedrooms can contribute to that. Avoid giving yourself the space to collect more junk or harbor childhood items long forgotten by downsizing to a home that feels more full – even with less space, or the right space.

2. Are you finally retired?

For years, you have worked and saved, and that sweet day is finally upon you: retirement! While everyone’s picture of retirement looks a little different, many people decide to travel more once retired, or to have homes in multiple places. A great way to achieve this is to downgrade to a smaller home that won’t cost as much to maintain, giving you more money to see the world.

3. Are your home improvement and maintenance days over?

When you first move into a home, the idea of projects around the house can sound exciting! But after years of home improvement cutting the grass, and fixing the garage door, you may be ready for someone else to worry about those projects. Moving to another home could give you less to take care of, and offer you more time to do the things you love. Some homes even eliminate yards altogether! Might as well sell the lawnmower too while you’re at it.

4. Do you need a master on the main level?

As much as we try to fight it, age can take a toll on our bodies. Suddenly things like climbing a flight of stairs get harder to do – and can even put you at risk. A home offering one-level living can offer you the space and comfort you’ve been looking for.

If you answered yes to any of these and you’re considering downsizing, give us a call. We have helped so many people downsize and find a great place to fit their needs, and we have contacts to help you every step of the way including estate sales, donating/consigning items, removal of old items, and more.

We aren’t just here to buy and sell homes – we understand that leaving a house full of years of memories is difficult, and our team will walk beside you each step of the process and help you find a house that can truly feel like home in the season of life you’re in.

Call us at (770) 352-9658 or send us an email at to get started, and check out our current listings here.

Tidying Up with Karen Cannon

If you are even remotely interested in interior design or optimizing your home’s storage, then the name “Marie Kondo” is probably familiar to you. While her method and her books have been around for quite some time, she became a household name after Netflix produced the series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, where the queen of organization shares her methods with those who live in chaotic homes.

While we may not have Marie Kondo’s tidying clout, here at Karen Cannon, Realtors we have picked up a few tips about organizing your home when you are preparing to sell and show it off to buyers.

Here are three tips from our team for tidying up before selling:

Half-way Empty Your Closets

This tip may sound strange, but when you’re looking for a home, what is one thing you are subconsciously searching for? Storage! Storage is a huge draw for buyers, and one of the best ways you can prepare your home is removing half of the items from your closet and organizing the other half. This shows potential buyers that there is plenty of room for everything they need to store, plus more. Also, remember buyers may snoop around, so chose what you display – in and out of your closets – carefully.

De-personalize Your Home

Although this process may seem a bit premature, removing your personal items from your home allows those looking to envision their family and lifestyle fitting into your home. A great rule of thumb for this is for every three pictures/ personal keepsakes, keep one out and pack away two. This will allow you to get a head start on packing and will allow prospects to imagine calling your house their “home.”

The First Impression is the Only Impression

In order to sell to a buyer, you need to think like one. What is the first thing a buyer sees when they pull up to your property? It’s not the kitchen or the awesome living room – it’s the exterior of the house! Your curb appeal matters, so take the time to tidy up your porch, garden, and yard by pulling those ugly weeds, sweeping mulch off and pressure washing your sidewalk, trimming those shrubs, and fixing or replacing anything with peeled paint. The front door of your home is an extremely important space as the buyer will be analyzing this area while their agent is opening the lockbox/unlocking the front door. Knock down the cobwebs, clean the sidelight windows/porch lights, plant fresh flowers, and provide touch up the paint where needed as these few simple and easy chores will make all the difference when a potential buyer first sees your home.

Tidying up in these three areas are just one way you can fast track selling your home and finding your next one. If selling your home seems overwhelming, the team at Karen Cannon, Realtors is here to walk with you through each stage of the home selling and buying process.

Click here to contact us by phone, or fill out the form at the bottom of the page and someone from our team will contact you shortly!