Purchasing a home can be a stressful process. There are negotiations, inspections, appraisals, strong emotions, and let’s face it, it is usually the biggest financial investment of your life. Well you won’t be able to totally get rid of the stress involved in a home purchase, there are things you can do to help lessen the stress. Whether you are a first time home buyer or someone who has bought and sold properties over your life time, this list will help you on the path to home ownership.
Know what you need in a home: You might have the best realtor in the world, but your realtor can’t read your mind. You need to go into the home buying process with an idea of what you’re looking for. It saves time and frustration if you have your “must-have” list already put together. Consider the size of the home, how many bedrooms/baths, how far you are willing to commute to work, and how convenient the home is to the things you love to do.
Flexibility is important: Unless you are building a brand new home yourself, you will probably not find the perfect home that hits on all of your “wants”. No home is perfect. Once you have your list of “wants”, you need to prioritize what’s most important. You may find that what fits your budget best is a little further from town. Or the kitchen might not be the one you’ve always dreamed of, it could be with a little work after the sale.
Get Pre-Approved: Financing a mortgage can lead to a lot of stress. It is very important to speak with a lender or two and get pre-approved prior to beginning your home search. There is nothing worse than finding the home of your dreams only to discover that you don’t qualify for the mortgage. Ask your Realtor what lenders they’ve worked with in the marketplace. They will be happy to give you some referrals. Check your credit to see if there are any red flags and clean those up right away. It’s also a good idea to have your income records and bank statements close at hand. Your lender will most likely want to see those at some point through the process.
Save Cash: Buying a home is expensive. You’ll have closing cost, a down payment, and you’ll need to get the utilities switched over. Then there is the actually moving expenses (unless of course you have family that is willing to carry the couch, beds, etc into your new home) Your Realtor and Lender can give you a rough estimate of closing cost associated with purchasing your new home.
Listen to your Realtor: Your Realtor brings a wealth of knowledge to the home buying process. Your Realtor may suggest adding contingencies to your offer once you have found the right home. Those contingencies are put in place to save you from problems down the road. For example, in Itasca County, a Septic System contingency can help save you thousands of dollars. The same is true when they suggest paying for a home inspection. While your Realtor can’t tell you what home will be best for your family, they can make suggestions to help.
Above all, recognize that the home buying process takes time. It’s rare to find the prefect home on your time day touring. But, your new place is out there.