Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Buying Properties

By: Jazzen Del Mundo
real estate investing mistakes

Rewarding and taxing — this is how seasoned real estate investors describe purchasing a property. A property can be a rewarding investment, a source of income, or a place to call home. However, it can also be a challenging and complex process that requires careful planning, research, and preparation. The market is constantly changing and evolving, influenced by various factors, such as supply and demand, interest rates, economic conditions, consumer preferences, and technological innovations. It is crucial to work your way on different types of properties, like a lot for sale in Cavite, a condo in Las Pinas, or an RFO home in Laguna, as well as their perks and setbacks. Moreover, knowing the common pitfalls when buying properties is two steps ahead in this lucrative industry.

Types of Properties

There are many types of properties you can choose from, depending on your budget, goals, preferences, and lifestyle. These are the common ones:

Single-family homes

These are detached dwellings that typically house a single family. They offer more privacy, space, and customization options than other types of properties. They also come with land and may have a yard, a garage, or a pool. However, they also require more maintenance, repairs, and costs, such as mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities. You are also responsible for complying with zoning laws and homeowners’ association rules, if any.

Multi-family homes

These are residential properties that include at least two separate housing units. They can be duplexes, triplexes, or larger buildings. They can be a good option if you want to live in one unit and rent out the others, generating income and reducing your expenses. They can also accommodate larger or extended families. However, they also entail more management, maintenance, and legal issues, such as tenant screening, lease agreements, eviction procedures, and landlord-tenant laws.


Beautiful new yellow townhouses with red – brown roof

These are residential properties that are more common in urban areas. They are attached to other units on one or both sides, but not above or below. They usually have multiple floors and street access. They can offer a compromise between single-family homes and condos, as they provide more space and privacy than the latter, but less than the former. They may also have a small yard or patio. However, they may also have higher HOA fees, less parking space, and more noise from neighbors.


These are single units within a large complex of apartments. They can offer convenience, affordability, and access to amenities, such as pools, gyms, or security. They can also be located in desirable areas, such as downtown or near public transportation. However, they also have less space, privacy, and customization options than single-family homes or townhouses. They also have HOA fees that cover the maintenance and management of the common areas, but not the individual units. You also have to follow the rules and regulations of the HOA, which may limit your choices and activities.

Commercial properties

These are properties used for business purposes, such as offices, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, or warehouses. They can offer higher returns, longer leases, and more stability than residential properties. They can also appreciate in value faster and have more tax benefits. However, they also require more capital, expertise, and risk management than residential properties. Commercial properties are also subject to market fluctuations, competition, and regulations that may affect their profitability and viability.


This is one of the biggest investment properties which can be vacant land or land with structures that can be used for various purposes, such as farming, development, or recreation. They can offer flexibility, potential, and appreciation, as you can use them as you wish or sell them when they increase in value. They can also have lower costs and taxes than developed properties. However, they also have lower liquidity, income, and utility than developed properties. They may also face environmental, legal, or zoning issues that may limit or prevent their use or development. For instance, lot for sale in Cavite is a lucrative business because the area is near to Manila. They are mostly candidates for development while the rest are highly developed.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Property

When buying a property, being two steps ahead of common pitfalls and risks that you should be aware of and avoid ensures high returns. Here are some of the real estate investing mistakes to avoid:

1. Not doing proper research and preparation

Before buying a property, you should do your homework and research the property, the area, the market conditions, and the potential risks and opportunities. You should also have a clear plan and strategy for your purchase, such as your budget, your goals, your target market, and your exit strategy. You should also consult with professionals, such as a real estate agent, a lawyer, an inspector, and a lender, to help you with the process and protect your interests.

2. Choosing the wrong mortgage

A mortgage is a long-term financial commitment that can have a significant impact on your cash flow, savings, and wealth. Therefore, you should choose a mortgage that suits your needs, preferences, and circumstances. You should compare different types of mortgages, such as fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, interest-only, or balloon, and different lenders, such as banks, credit unions, or online platforms. You should also consider the interest rate, the term, the fees, the penalties, your due diligence, and the prepayment options of the mortgage. You should also get pre-approved for a mortgage before making an offer, as this can give you an edge over other buyers and speed up the closing process.

3. Being influenced by “The Market”

The real estate market is constantly changing and influenced by various factors, such as supply and demand, interest rates, economic conditions, consumer preferences, and technological innovations. However, you should not let the market dictate your decisions or emotions. You should not buy a property just because it is a “hot” or “bargain” deal, or sell a property just because it is a “cold” or “losing” deal. You should also not be swayed by the opinions or actions of other buyers, sellers, agents, or media. You should focus on your own goals, needs, and circumstances, and buy or sell a property based on its intrinsic value, not its market value.

4. Going beyond your budget

One of the most common and costly mistakes that buyers make is overpaying for a property or bidding too high. This can happen when buyers fall in love with a property, get into a bidding war, or underestimate the costs and fees involved in buying a property. This can lead to financial stress, debt, foreclosure, or bankruptcy. Therefore, you should always have a realistic valuation of the property and factor in all the costs and fees involved, such as mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and renovations. You should also have a contingency fund for unexpected expenses or emergencies. You should also avoid taking on too much debt or using your credit cards to finance your purchase. You should also negotiate the price and terms of the sale with the seller or the agent, and not be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.

5. Skipping the inspection

A property inspection is a vital step in the buying process, as it can reveal the condition, quality, and safety of the property. It can also identify any defects, damages, or issues that may affect the value, functionality, or livability of the property. A property inspection can also help you negotiate the price, request repairs, or cancel the contract if the property does not meet your expectations or standards. Therefore, you should never skip the inspection or rely on the seller’s disclosure. You should always hire a qualified and experienced inspector to conduct a thorough and objective inspection of the property, and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report. You should also attend the inspection and ask questions if you have any doubts or concerns.

Buying a property involves a lot of legal documents, contracts, and procedures that can be confusing and overwhelming. However, you should not ignore or neglect the legal aspects of the transaction, as they can protect your rights, interests, and obligations as a buyer. You should also consult with a lawyer who specializes in real estate law to help you understand and review the legal documents, such as the purchase agreement, the title deed, the mortgage contract, the closing statement, and the disclosure forms. You should also ensure that the property has a clear and valid title, free of any liens, encumbrances, or disputes. You should also verify that the property complies with all the zoning laws, building codes, and environmental regulations. You should also check for any easements, covenants, or restrictions that may affect your use or enjoyment of the property.

7. Not diversifying your portfolio

If you are buying a property as an investment, you should not put all your eggs in one basket. You should diversify your portfolio by investing in different types of properties, such as residential, commercial, or land, and in different locations, such as urban, suburban, or rural. You should also diversify your income sources by renting, flipping, or developing your properties. This way, you can reduce your risk, increase your returns, and take advantage of different market opportunities and cycles. You should also monitor and evaluate your portfolio regularly and make adjustments as needed.

End Note

Investing in real estate can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be a challenging and complex process that requires careful planning, research, and preparation. By avoiding these common pitfalls and following these tips, you can make smart and informed decisions that can help you achieve your goals and dreams.

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