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Some people find their dream homes right out of the gate and have those properties for the rest of their lives. So, avoiding mistakes when purchasing that dream home needs to be high on the list of priorities.

There are some definite ways to become a savvy homebuyer. These five tips might help you to avoid some common faux pas in the home-buying process and save you not only time, but also thousands of dollars.

Buy when you plan on planting roots. Buy when you’ll be staying in the home for five years or longer. If you’ve got a 30-year mortgage, you’ll only be paying a small portion of the principal at first. Most of what you’re paying is interest. If you buy a home and need to sell just a couple years later, any transaction costs will have wiped out any equity you may have built up in the property.

Take the time to find the right home for you. You don’t want to be sorry over a hasty purchase. The last thing you want is to move into a new home and realize you don’t really love it at all. Continue to rent for a few more months until you find a place that really tickles your fancy.

Choose an agent you’re in sync with. An agent will help you find the right home for you and your situation. He or she is mandated to abide by a code of ethics. Find a salesperson who has a stellar reputation, knows the market you’re looking in and offers you prudent advice to get you the best deal possible.

Stick to your budget. You’ve likely gone to the bank or lender to get a mortgage pre-approval so you know your budget. It’s best not to even look at properties over your spending limit. If you’ve been approved for $400,000 and start looking at properties listed at $900,000, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

Choose your own home inspector. It’s wise that you choose an experienced and aggressive inspector who will go over the property with a fine-tooth comb. He or she will look for issues that could affect the home such as faulty plumbing, wiring, leaks in the basement, major cracks in the foundation, termites, mold and the like. If the inspector finds issues, it may mean your agent needs to go back to the negotiating table to get the seller to compensate you for the problems that would need to be rectified. If the problems are severe, the deal could fall through and you’ll have to hunt for another property.

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