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Top House-Hunting Mistakes for Des Moines Buyers to Avoid

Jun 28, 2019 | Industry News

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Whether you’re purchasing your first home in Des Moines, or you’re a second or third-time buyer, the house-hunting process can be full of twists and turns. Luckily, there are several things you can do to ensure a smoother path. One of the best things prospective buyers can do is to get familiar with the most common mistakes so that they’re better able to avoid making them themselves. While searching for your Des Moines dream home, here are the things you’ll want to look out for:

Letting Emotion Take Control

Buying a home is a very practical and financial decision, and sometimes the level of emotion that goes along with it can catch prospective buyers by surprise. You may set out on your house-hunting journey with a clear budget and list of must-haves, only to be swayed by the emotions you feel when you walk into a certain home. While listening to these feelings is a part of the process, it’s important that they don’t take over. Buyers who allow their emotions to overshadow everything else often wind up purchasing a home that’s out of their budget or not quite right for their lifestyle.

Getting Distracted

Perhaps you check out a home that doesn’t check many boxes on your must-have list, but it doesn’t have some flashy features. Maybe it has a newly renovated kitchen, top-of-the-line appliances, or even just amazing staging. Getting distracted is just as dangerous as letting your emotions take over. Don’t let shiny features steal the show. You want to look at the property as a whole and stay connected to your original plan. While some features may be an added bonus, you probably don’t want to trade the things you need for them.

Lacking a Strategy

Especially for first-time buyers, house hunting can seem like a fun and relaxed process. While it certainly can be, it requires a solid strategy for it to be effective. As mentioned above, a must-have list should be a part of every house-hunter’s strategy. What are the non-negotiables your new home must have? Especially if you’re buying with a partner, identifying these things ahead of time can prevent stressful conflict. It’s also important to go in with a clear budget in mind. When you look at homes way out of your price range, it can make the process overwhelming, and it can cause some buyers to make a decision they later regret. Create a budget, and stick to it. Finally, you’ll also want to look at location strategically. Looking at homes all around the city can give you too many options. Identify a specific neighborhood that appeals to you, certain landmarks you want to be near, or the type of lifestyle you plan to have there, and keep these in mind as you refine your search to a more specific location.

Missing the Value of an Open House

Some house hunters pack their weekends with open houses, heading to multiple in one day. If you’re hoping to find a place right away, this might be necessary. Regardless of how many you visit, you want to maximize the experience. Open houses are a great opportunity for prospective buyers to explore a home, both inside and out. It gives them a chance to envision themselves in the space and also to look for any potential red flags. Visiting an open house shouldn’t just be a stroll through a home that’s on the market. Take advantage of the opportunity to really investigate if it could be the right home for you.


Being aware of common mistakes is one of the best ways to avoid them. For Des Moines buyers, the house-hunting process can be full of pitfalls and traps that can sabotage their plans of finding the perfect home. When you take the time to get familiar with these mistakes and work out a plan to navigate around them, you’re more likely to have a successful search that ends with you in just the right home.

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