Purchasing a home is far from an impulse buy. It’s an anxiety-inducing process that requires confidence, planning, and a few helpful tips. Regardless of whether you’re purchasing a home for the first time, or if you’ve been through the process before, a little extra knowledge goes a long way.
Here’s how to make home buying easier:
#1 Timing Is Everything, But Don’t Time The Market
It’s tempting to monitor the market in an attempt to make your big purchase when conditions are in your favor. Resist the urge to base your home buying timeline on market-based factors, and instead focus on your own financial readiness.
Create a checklist and remember these Do’s and Don’ts:
- Consider your emergency savings
- Pay off your credit card debt
- Create and stick to a monthly budget
- Understand the real estate market is cyclical
- Try to predict the real estate market
- Delay making an offer due to interest rates
- Rush into buying when prices are low
#2 Expect an Inspection
When it comes to purchasing a home, the last thing you want to deal with is an unpleasant surprise. Hiring a professional home inspector can save you from encountering unpleasant—and costly—issues down the line. Though having your potential new home inspected requires covering an upfront cost, professional inspectors can identify problems such as:
- Safety Issues – No one wants to worry about their roof caving in on them while they sleep. Regardless of size, age, or property type, any home can have safety issues that could potentially cause harm to you and your loved ones.
- Vermin – Inspectors are trained to spot everything from cockroaches to termites. Besides being a nuisance, some vermin can cause structural damage to buildings, meaning you’ll want to know if a property has an ongoing infestation.
- Potential ROI –Potential ROI (return on investment) should be on every home buyer’s mind. Hiring an experienced professional to inspect your potential property can clue you in on what to expect as time goes on.
#3 Loans Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All
Choosing a home is an incredibly individualized process. Choosing your home loan is no different. There are several different mortgage options designed to fit your individual circumstances and needs. They are:
- FHA Loan – Federal Housing Administration loans offer significant advantages like less stringent credit requirements and down payments as low as 3.5%. However, this kind of loan comes with drawbacks including having to pay a mortgage premium (money that won’t go towards paying off your house).
- VA Loan – Veteran Affairs Loans are only accessible to former or current service members. The most significant advantage to VA home loans is there is often zero down payment. This means you can purchase your new home without spending a lot of money upfront.
- ARM – Adjustable Rate Mortgages are appealing because interest rates aren’t set in stone and are often initially very low.
#4 Sleep on It
Buying a home is a huge decision. Don’t feel pressured to make any decisions right away. Take time to reflect on different options and weigh the pros and cons of each prospect. If you’re feeling stressed about moving forward with purchasing a home, consider:
- Taking a day to pamper yourself – As you go through the buying process, you might find yourself feeling stressed. Treat yourself to a spa day! Whether you book a home massage or take a bath with candles and essential oils at home, carving out time to relax will put you in the best possible mindset to take the next step in purchasing a home.
- Slowing Down – Unless something unexpected happens, you should plan to stay in your home for a significant amount of time. This means it’s incredibly important to take time to process and reflect upon this life changing purchase.
The thought of purchasing a home might make your stomach churn, but remember: all your hard work will pay off when you finally unlock the door to the next step in your future.
Happy house hunting!