How to Reduce Home-Buying Stress
Buying a home is a lifetime investment that requires adequate preparation. The huge amounts of finances and time involved in buying a home can make the process unnerving both for first-time and experienced buyers. To ensure that you have a pleasant and hassle-free home buying experience, below are a few tips to help you reduce home-buying stress.
1. Know What You Want
Looking for a house without having a clear picture will frustrate both you and your real estate agent, and also lengthen your search. Before going out for house hunting, have a list of requirements that you want in a home, taking into consideration your family's needs. These include the house features, neighborhood, and proximity to essential facilities like schools, transport, healthcare, as well as your place of work.
When deciding on house features, consider factors like the floor plan, the number of rooms, type of the house (whether single or multi-level), age of the home, and maintenance. Check how safe the neighborhood is for security purposes and consider distance to social and essential facilities for the sake of convenience. Also, have a budget and stick to it so that you don't buy a home that is outside your financial comfort zone. The more specific your checklist, the easier the search will be.
2. Get Pre-Approved Mortgage
Avoid shopping for a home before securing your funds since it is not always a guarantee that your loan application will be approved. Doing so will have you looking at homes that are more or less what you can afford, leading to disappointment. Also, there are real estate agents and home sellers who only work with individuals with mortgage pre-approvals, which may eliminate your chances of owning your desired home.
To avoid financial challenges when buying a home, ensure you get mortgage pre-approval before setting out house-shopping. This not only gives you a price range to work with, but also shows the seller that you are serious as you can make an offer on the house and back it up. Since your credit score matters a lot when seeking home financing, ensure that you pay up your bills on time, service your debts and steer clear of new credit, and confirm that your credit details are accurate. This reduces your debt-to-income ratio, improves your credit score, and makes you the right candidate for mortgage loans as banks won't consider you high risk.
3. Be Flexible
While knowing what you want and sticking to it provides you with more direction and clarity, it is not guaranteed that you will get the exact replica of what you are looking for. For this reason, you should be flexible enough to prioritize what you need and compromise on the unnecessary.
Establish what features are critical for your family's comfort and what you can do without. For example, you may find a spacious home, perfect floor plan, and with all the features you are looking for except a swimming pool. In this case, you will have to consider letting go of your desire for a swimming pool if you can live without it. When buying a home, be flexible and realistic about your requirements and expectations.
4. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents have been in business long enough to know how the real estate market works. It's in your best interest to listen to them and take in their advice when making an offer or buying a home. Your agent will consider your budget and desired location to have to connect you to various home options that fit the bill.
Keep in mind that your agent won't sabotage your chances of owning your dream home as they get paid when they close the sale. If your agent advises against a low-ball offer or recommends that you put up home-buying contingencies, this is usually for your best interests. Contingencies will save you money and labor while low-ball proposals may put off the seller and ruin your chances of buying the property. Whatever the case, you need to listen to your agent as they are experts in their field.
5. Save Enough Cash
In order to make financial plans for purchasing a home, you need to factor in all possible costs involved. These include down payment, closing costs, appraisal, and home inspection costs, insurance as well as credit check fees. This way, you can plan your finances and save enough money so that you don't have to cut short buying a home due to lack of funds.
It’s recommended that you save up enough cash for a down payment of 20% of the home's buying price. This will prevent you from having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) which will add to your financial obligation. What's more, the more money you save, the lower the loan amount you'll need, and the quicker you can buy your dream home as you will have the cash ready when you find one.
The above tips will help you prepare thoroughly and minimize the stress in buying a home. If you are a first-time buyer, this guide will take you through the various procedures involved so that you start your home-buying journey from the position of knowledge.