7 Mistakes Boise Home Buyers Make

I work with a lot of Boise home buyers and have learned that there are a number of best practices that lead to successful transactions.

I also see many instances of common mistakes that Boise home buyers make while trying to buy a home.

Here are 7 mistakes that Boise home buyers often make.

1) Not Getting Your Financing Pre-Approved

Buying a home isn’t like buying a car.

You can walk onto a car lot, pick out a car, and the dealer will arrange your financing.

When you make an offer on a home, the seller and their agent will want proof that you can obtain financing before they’ll seriously consider your offer.

That means getting pre-approved for your financing before you look at homes.

Getting pre-approved will also allow you to fully understand all of the costs and terms of your financing.

2) Looking At Homes You Can’t Afford

If you are pre-approved to purchase a $250,000 home, there’s no point in looking at $300,000 homes.

The odds of finding a home you love, owned by a desperate seller who will meet your price point, are slim and none.

Don’t waste your time, and your agent’s time, by insisting on looking at homes that you can’t buy.

3) Selecting A Home On The Internet

The internet is a good place to start, but trust me, there’s much more to consider than Photoshopped photos on a website.

Everything looks good on the internet, but often not so much when you actually view the homes you like.

I’ve seen many homes that looked terrific online, then wondered if the home was the same home when I viewed it in person.

And, believe it or not, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com don’t have a clue about the condition, neighborhood, and true market value of that home you just love on their sites.

After you find a home that looks good on the internet, drive by, check out the neighborhood, schools, schools, drive times, and other important considerations.

Then, ask your agent for their input on other details of the property.

4) Working With More Than One Agent

Contrary to popular belief, it’s pointless to work with more than one agent.


Because we all have the same listing inventory to show you.

Find a competent, full-time, experienced agent and pledge your loyalty to that agent by signing a buyer representation agreement.

Experienced agents won’t give you the time of day if they figure out that you’re playing the field and working with other agents.

5) Making Lowball Offers

Motivated sellers who are offering quality homes are rarely inclined to accept a lowball offer.

In some instances, a lowball offer will result in an outright rejection of your offer vs. getting a counteroffer.

When your offer is rejected, negotiations end unless you write another offer.

Lowball offers are offensive to a seller who has a quality property offered at a fair price.

When you make a lowball offer, you’re setting yourself up for the listing agent to use the existence of your offer to entice other buyers to write competing offers that will likely beat your offer.

If you want the property, make a reasonable offer and work toward a win-win transaction.

The lingering resentment that accompanies a lowball offer usually leads to a challenging escrow if the offer is accepted.

6) Making Contingent Offers

Few sellers, and their listing agents, will consider an offer that’s contingent upon the sale of another property.

A contingent offer transfers control of the sale process from the seller to the buyer.

A contingent offer essentially says” Mr. Seller, I want to tie up your property while I see if I can sell my property”.

That’s not very appealing to a seller with a desirable property who simply wants a firm sale and a smooth closing.

If you must sell before you can buy, it’s best to sell and close first so you can make a firm offer.

7) Requesting A Long Escrow

Escrows are like fruit ~ they don’t improve with time.

Sellers, listing agents, and buyer’s agents all hate long escrows.


Because things go wrong with long escrows.

  • Interest rates can rise.
  • Buyers change their minds (aka “buyer’s remorse”).
  • Buyers can lose their jobs (I’ve had this happen).
  • Buyers can decide to get a divorce (I’ve had this happen too).
  • Buyers can die during escrow (I’ve also, unfortunately, had this happen too).

Most escrows can be closed in 30-45 days.

Requesting a long escrow can cause a seller and their agent to question the strength of your offer.

If it’s worth doing, it’s best to get it done quickly.


Change Your Locks After Closing

It’s common practice for buyers to be given the keys to the home they bought when escrow closes.

In fact, it’s an accepted ritual that has been going on forever.

In most instances, the listing agent leaves the keys and the garage keypad code with the escrow officer, who then releases them to the buyer upon closing.

I have often wondered if this is a good idea.

Think about this for a moment!

How many neighbors and family members have an extra key for the home?

If it’s a new home, how many subcontractors have a key or know the garage keypad code?

I’m guessing that it’s very rare for the previous owner to have sole possession of all keys, extra garage door controllers, and the garage keypad code.

That’s why I recommend that buyers have all locks re-keyed by a locksmith and change the garage keypad code immediately after closing.


Meridian, Idaho Homes: Renting vs. Buying

Should you rent or buy?

It’s a frequent question from people who are looking at Meridian, Idaho homes.

The answer often involves more than just money.

Buying is a longer-term commitment that includes both financial commitments and more responsibilities than renting.

If there’s a possibility that you’ll be moving within a couple of years, you’re almost certainly better off renting than buying.

Renting provides more flexibility, doesn’t require a down payment or buyer closing costs, and your landlord takes care of the property.

But, the landlord also dictates how you must live in his home.

If you’re reasonably sure you will not be moving within a couple of years, you should consider buying a home.

Buying a home allows you to build equity as you pay down your mortgage instead of paying off your landlord’s mortgage.

And, you’ll have the freedom to live as you wish without a landlord or property manager dictating what you must do with his home while you are paying for it.

There are also many financial considerations.

Here’s a comparison of renting vs. buying, using a $200,000 home as an example:


  • $1,250 – $1,300/month rent
  • One-year lease (likely)
  • Security deposit (varies)
  • First and last month’s rent (varies)
  • Pet deposit (varies)


  • $200,000 purchase price
  • $20,000 down payment
  • $180,000 loan – 30 year, fixed-rate, 4.25% interest rate
  • $1,050 estimate payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance)

Things To Consider

  • Depending upon the buyer’s eligibility, there are loan programs available with as little as zero down payment, or low down payments.
  • Some sellers will pay buyer’s closing costs; thereby reducing the amount of money needed to purchase.
  • Homeowners are also often able to deduct certain costs of home ownership on their tax returns.

Would you like some help analyzing buying vs. renting for our own specific situation?

I would be happy to meet with you and help you figure out what’s best for you with no obligation or sales talk.

Give me a call at (208)938-5533 to schedule your own private consultation.