Given today’s market realities, buying a home will not be without its challenges or unexpected surprises.

If you’re a veteran and plan on purchasing a home through the VA mortgage loan program, there are some common missteps you should know about before moving ahead.

With a little prep work, you can manage the variety of risks, challenges and opportunities to your advantage and make the most out of your homebuying experience.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid.

Fail to budget for the now and later

Buying a home today is very different than buying a home six months ago.

The changing landscape means you must be as diligent as ever with your financial planning. Because of this, homebuyers must not be tempted by pushing the limits to purchase a budget-bending home and then overlook the costs of actually owning a home.

The bit of wisdom homebuyers should keep in mind is that they should understand limits and put a lot of thought into their budgets with careful consideration for every step.

Hire a real estate agent who doesn’t quite fit

You will make a lot of decisions through the course of buying a home. Selecting the right real estate agent to work alongside you is one of the more consequential decisions you’ll make. So, you really need to get it right.

As a rule of thumb, you should interview a few real estate agents before choosing who to work with. You can also rely on online reviews and recommendations from your family and friends when deciding.

The strategy should be to work with someone who clicks with you, and above all else, it’s important to work with someone who’s familiar with the market and has a proven track record of success on both selling and buying real estate.

Take their word for it

A verbal commitment from a seller that you will be selected to purchase the home isn’t firm.

If you count on verbal agreements throughout the homebuying process, then you should also prepare to be let down.

As soon as you strike a deal, work with your team to get everything in writing and in contract so you can move swiftly to the next steps of buying a home. Do not rest easy until all the appropriate forms are signed and executed.

Not thinking big picture

Right now, and for some time, home prices have skyrocketed. But, will that always be the case?

As a homebuyer, you are challenged to consider both today’s price and what the future might hold. Because of this reality, you should take into account what it would be like to sell your home in the future. You will want to make financial decisions that protect your investment for as long as possible.

As future value is a major consideration, you will want to think about various neighborhoods, possible home improvement projects and the home’s layout and features. They will all have a say in how much the home will be worth down the road.

Buying a home with a VA loan program offers applicants a number of benefits to make the most out of buying a home. Nevertheless, there will be some potential pitfalls to avoid. As you move ahead with your dreams of buying a home, make sure to take every precaution possible to avoid mistakes that can take away value from your investment.

Premier Mortgage Resources is not affiliated with or an agency of the federal government. Please consult your tax advisor. All opinions expressed by Loan Officer, are Loan Officer’s opinions and do not reflect the opinions of PMR.