The home buying process can be a difficult process for many would be home purchasers. The reasons for the trauma associated with purchasing a home varies as widely as the reasons people purchase homes. For most people the purchase of a home represents their single largest investment they will ever make. Any time you are dealing with such a large investment it can always be stressful. For some people it is the lack of experience and knowledge that make the home buying process so stressful. For others it may be the desire to fulfill the American Dream and find that “perfect” home. No matter the reason, the fact is home buying can be a stressful ordeal. Thankfully it does not have to be that way! I have addressed 10 things you can do to take the trauma out of home buying.
1) Find a real estate agent that’s simpatico. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the agent you chose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality. The relationship you build with your real estate agent has as much to do with keeping the stress low as any part of the process. Your agent can either lower or increase your stress. Find the agent you are able to work with effectively.
2) Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, any more than there is a right time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes don’t usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price and a good home won’t stay on the market long. Many times I have seen a home buyer find the home they fell in love with and wait to make the purchase for some reason and lose the home they felt was ideal for them. Talking about adding stress!
3) Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision. They make chocolate and vanilla ice cream because everyone has different things they like. Everyone is going to look at the home from a different point of view. You must check it out and weigh the pros and cons for you and make the decision.
4) Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go. This is a big one. Many times home buyers get caught up looking for that perfect home only to let ones that would have worked well for them to get away. In fact, many times they even settle for something less because they were so emphatic about finding the perfect home from the beginning.
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 may lose you the home you love. Sellers are often offended by a buyer making an initial offer that is too low. There is a fine line in trying to get a good deal and offending the seller. I have seen buyers end up paying more for a property because they were going to “negotiate a good deal.” So many times this back fires and the home buyer pays more to get the home they want. There are few things more satisfying than helping a buyer and a seller negotiate a deal where they both get what they want. It truly is a win-win!
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-that you forget such issues as amenities, noise level, etc., that have a big impact on what it’s like to live in your new home. In real estate we say there are 3 things that sell a home – location, location, location. Check out the community the home you are looking at is located in. Does it have restrictions? Are there stores, schools, or other facilities near by? Is there a neighborhood noise problem? Are there privileges that come with living here?
7) Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance availability, 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. Get a mortgage approved and make your offer. It puts your offer in a stronger position for the seller to accept it. Offer a larger than normal earnest money deposit. This too entices the seller to look hard at your offer.
8) Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate. Proper up keeping is a huge part of building value in your property.
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 commitment, but it also yields big benefits. Everyone second guesses themselves. Do your homework, investigate the home, and trust your decision!
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 as a comfortable, safe place to live. Always buy a home you love. Homes do appreciate but why live in a home that you don’t like just because you think it will appreciate. Buy a home you love!
Follow these 10 simple things to take the trauma out of home buying and your next home buying experience will be much smoother.