Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’ve decided to upgrade to your dream home, the process of seeking and purchasing property can be a little stressful, to say the least. The size of this investment is daunting for most people, and you want to make the right choice.
With a few simple strategies, however, you can greatly reduce the anxiety that tends to go hand-in-hand with home buying. Here are a few tips to keep your stress low and enjoy the process.
There are two good reasons to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you start looking at real estate. For one thing, you need a clear idea of how much money you have to spend.
In addition, however, those who are pre-approved can make an immediate bid on a home they fancy, potentially beating out buyers that have to wait on approval to make an offer. Either way, you’ll almost certainly experience less anxiety once you’re pre-approved.
Create a Budget
It is very important to pay attention to what you’re about to read: just because you’ve been approved for a mortgage loan doesn’t mean your budget can bear the full expense. Sure, the bank looked at your credit rating and your finances and decided you could handle a certain amount, but only you know what your financial obligations and goals are, and you need to be realistic about what you can afford.
In other words, you need to crunch some number and figure out what kind of monthly mortgage payment you can reasonably afford. Don’t forget to factor in additional costs like HOA fees, homeowner’s insurance, and property tax, just for example, as these could push you over the edge if your mortgage alone is right at the limit of what you can afford.
Taking on the debt of a house can be terrifying, but with proper planning and budgeting you can make sure you have the money each month to cover costs and maybe even sock some away for a rainy day. Don’t be blinded by stardust when you see the mortgage loan you’re pre-approved for. Wise financial decisions will help you to feel more secure and reduce your anxiety over this major purchase.
Find an Experienced Agent
The value of having a knowledgeable, experienced, and well-connected agent by your side during the home-buying process cannot be overstated. A good agent can find you the best listings, offer advice and insight, and in some cases even get you in to see desirable properties before they hit the market.
This professional can open doors for you and give you an education when it comes to purchasing a property. However, you need to find a reputable and reliable agent. So ask trusted resources (family, friends, and colleagues) for referrals or check out online reviews to see which local agents have the best track record and nab the most raves from satisfied clients.
Planning can help to ease many of the stresses associated with buying a home, so it’s best to sit down to list your priorities before you even start looking at listings. Try to be honest about what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to give up.
For example, singles or couples might prefer a residence close to places of employment, while a family will likely be more concerned with having enough space for family members (and anticipated additions), as well as inclusion in a highly-rated school district.
You may want a backyard pool, but this might not be a deal-breaker. When you have a clear idea of what you need and want you’re less likely to get caught up in the excitement of the process and make emotional (rather than financially sound) decisions.
If you have a long list of wants and needs, finding the perfect home in your budget could take a while, so it’s important to either be flexible with your must list or flexible with your timeline. Otherwise you could suffer some serious anxiety.
Insist on a Home Inspection
To be honest, most mortgage lenders will insist on this anyway (and make you pay for it). They want to make sure you’re making a wise investment. If you get into a money pit and end up defaulting on your loan, it’s a major hassle for your lender.
Of course, you also gain some peace of mind in the process. When you know what problems await you, there’s a much better chance you’ll make smart decisions about the property you purchase.