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.
1. 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 REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with
2. 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.
3. 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
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Choose a home first because you love
it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an
average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important
role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.