Few things are as exciting — or as stressful — as buying a home, especially if this is your first time. It’s an emotional roller-coaster, to say the least. House hunting and purchasing is a massive financial and legal undertaking that can drag on for months, and even years, but with a little preparation and some professional help, you will enter the market knowing how to survive buying a home
Know where you stand. There is probably nothing more stressful than entering the housing market unprepared. Do everything you can to know exactly where you stand, both financially and emotionally. Find out exactly what your price range is, and identify what your must-have’s in a home are.
Research, research, research. The more you know before getting into the housing market, the better off you’ll feel. Some things you’ll want to research before house hunting include.
- The local housing market
- Different neighborhoods, school districts, etc. that you’d like to live in
- What available homes in your price range look like, and how long they’re on the market
- Good local lenders
- Local reputable real estate agents
Hire a realtor. While it’s certainly possible to buy a home without a realtor, it is not advisable. A good realtor will act as your guide and advocate, and he or she will help make sure that you not only survive buying a home, but even come to enjoy such a monumental experience.
Expect some surprises. Buying a home can be full of welcome and unwelcome surprises, including some “surprise” costs that are associated with buying a home. To survive, accept that finding and buying a home is not a straightforward process. Expect the unexpected. That house you made an offer on that’s been on the market for months could still be bought up from under you if you do not act quickly.
Take some time for yourself. The home buying process can be so consuming and stressful, that sometimes it’s best to just take a step back and get away for awhile. If you find yourself frustrated, disappointed or overwhelmed, consider getting a little R&R for yourself. Go out to a nice dinner, or treat yourself to a spa day. When you return, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to take on the house buying challenge.
The bottom line: Buying a home is a complex and often emotional process. Arm yourself with knowledge and a good realtor, and learn to expect the unexpected. And when you finally find your dream home, act quickly to make it yours.