There is no bigger purchase that private consumers are likely to make than buying a new Boston condo. This is why it’s important for buyers to think carefully about every decision they make. The wrong choices at any stage of this process can have long-term and very expensive repercussions. Following are seven of the most costly home buying mistakes Downtown Boston real estate pros commonly see, along with tips for avoiding them.

1. Letting Your Lender Set Your Budget

The job of a mortgage broker is to tell you how much money you qualify for, not how much you should actually spend. Although lenders will carefully review your earnings, your debt-to-income ratio, and all other pertinent factors, there are some aspects of your financial profile that will not be considered during this review. These include your long-term savings goals, you plans for retirement, and the contributions that you may want to make to a college fund if you ever have children. Rather than basing your budget off of what you qualify for, consider your future and your long-term financial health and then set your budget on your own.

2. Buying Before You’re Ready

It’s important for buyers to be both emotionally and financially ready for this purchase. This means having a sufficient down payment, a strong sense of financial security, and the willingness and ability to commit to the many responsibilities that property ownership will entail. Take some time to think about why you’re buying and make sure that this decision isn’t solely motivated by emotion.

3. Making Bids That Waive Home Inspection Contingencies

In markets with high demand, like Downtown Boston, you may feel driven to submit a competitive bid that waives the inspection and makes your offer more appealing. This is a mistake that can have long-term consequences. If major structural or other problems exist, these are issues that won’t be reflected in the sales price and that will have to paid for out of your own pocket.

4. Taking on Too Many DIY Projects

Finding a “fixer-upper” that fits your budget can be exciting, but it’s important to maintain a realistic outlook in terms of what you can change and what you cannot. If you want to knock down walls or take on an entire kitchen remodel, it probably isn’t the right place for you.

5. Failing to Research the Neighborhood

Location is everything in real estate simply because it is the single factor that buyers cannot change. You can remodel and redecorate your Boston condo or loft as many times as you want, but you’ll never be able to relocate it. Although Downtown is often thought of as one large neighborhood, Take some time to walk around your neighborhood of choice, check out local entertainment options, and note things like available parking or late night noise. If you don’t work in Downtown, you should even time your morning and evening commute in rush hour traffic. These are all things that will determine whether or not you’re actually happy in your new location.

6. Overlooking the Need for a Good Exit Strategy

One of the most common mistakes among new homebuyers is failing to plan for the future and create a solid exit strategy. A Downtown/Midtown condo, loft, or even penthouse that works well today could be far too small several years from now. This can be problematic if you attempt to sell your property during a sudden increase in supply. Consider the possibility of significant changes in family size and look for a property that is flexible enough to support your growth for an extended amount of time so that you aren’t forced to drop your price in order to make a hasty exit.

7. Miscalculating Your Ownership Expenses

Although buying a new place is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, it is still comparable to other purchases. Think about the last time you bought a new computer. In addition to the actual hardware, you needed a basic software package, solid security, and a range of accessories for enhancing the unit. Without these things, your new system would be vulnerable and far less effective. You have to think about the range of expenses that buying, moving into and maintaining your condo is likely to entail. Write each of these down and make sure that the total costs of ownership are something that you can actually manage. This is critical for your long-term success as a property owner.

You’ve chosen a great location with Downtown San Diego, but don’t forget other added expenses like parking or a separate storage unit, which aren’t always included in the cost of Downtown Boston condos for sale. For more information on buying a new place or to schedule an appointment with an experienced agent, call us at 617-720-5454.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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