Take the Stress Out of Homebuying

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

  • Find a real estate agent who you connect with.
    Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It's critical that the agent you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.
  • Remember, there's no "right" time to buy, just as there's no perfect time to sell.
    If you find a home now, don't try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer - you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn't change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won't stay on the market long.
  • Don't ask for too many opinions.
    It's natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family - the people who will be living in the home.
  • Accept that no house is ever perfect.
    If it's in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
  • Don't try to be a killer negotiator.
    Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to "win" by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
  • Remember your home doesn't exist in a vacuum.
    Don't get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself - room size, kitchen, etc. - that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.
  • Plan ahead.
    Don't wait until you've found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
  • Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget.
    Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don't leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  • Accept that a little buyer's remorse is inevitable and will probably pass.
    Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don't lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
  • Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation.
    While U.S. homes generally appreciate well, a home's most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

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