Bringing a part of the American dream to fruition is an exciting adventure. Being able to buy a home that you can call your own is a wonderful life achievement.  In all the excitement for buying a home, it's easy to overlook some pitfalls that may cost you later and make your home buying experience burdensome and a real heart ache.

Today on the Top 5 at 7:45, I'll highlight some foolish mistakes that first-time home buyers often make.

  1. Overspending - If possible, always lean toward a lesser amount rather than a higher one. You don't have to use the entire amount of loan money that has been approved for you.
  2. Counting Your Chickens Before Hatch Time - Don't base you decision on what is "supposed" to happen, but rather what IS happening financially in your life. Remember, the big promotion the boss has been promising you may not happen for another year, if then.
  3. Don't Forget To Account For Closing Costs - Closing costs, homeowners insurance and property taxes are just a few "hidden" costs that you must account for when buying a home. Don't get bit unexpectedly.
  4. Being Unprotected Without Home Inspections - You may walk through the home and realized she's a real beauty. But the seller may have caulked cracks in the wall or "raised the floor" with floor leveler. You may have some real, unseen problems with the home. Make sure you always get a full inspection for plumbing, structure and electrical, at least, before signing your name on the dotted line.
  5. Being Overly Paranoid Or Naive - Many first-time home buyers fall into this trap. They see problems in the home and think that they are easy fixes without counting what that cost might actually be. Some buyers may decide to buy a home without an agent because they "don't trust them." This is foolish. A good real estate agent will help you all the way through your purchase, inspections, loans and paperwork. They will also be able to answer questions and point you in the right direction.

The Top 5 at 7:45 airs weekdays with me, Gary Freeman, and sponsored by First Education Federal Credit Union.