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So you’re looking to buy a home? Congrats! Even in all the excitement surrounding this major milestone, anxiety can still sneak in. Home buying can be scary and overwhelming. Searching for the perfect property, navigating complexities of mortgage applications, and continuous back and forth can all pile up to seem larger than life. Slightly anxiety is healthy, but in the interest of helping you stay excited about your home we’re here to give you some strategies to reduce home buying stress. Here are ten of our top home buying tips. Good luck!

  1. Define Your BudgetIt may seem simple but it is crucial to determine what you are able to spend before you even begin your house hunt. If you don’t know where to begin, here are a few pointers. Determine your total monthly income and track expenses to get a clear picture of what you already spend on housing and what you can afford to add. In calculating, be sure to keep in to save for the down payment, but it is essential to factor in ongoing costs of homeownership. These expenses include mortgage payments, property taxes, home insurance, and any maintenance. Finding and doing your best to stay within a budget will ensure that you can afford to truly enjoy your new home.
  2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage – A fantastic addition to your budget from the last tip is mortgage pre-approval. Getting pre-approved is one of the smartest steps you can take. Pre-approval gives a number for how much a lender is willing to give you, allowing you to further focus in your search on homes within your means. It also saves time later on in the process! A pre-approved mortgage is a sign to sellers that you mean business as a buyer.
  3. Prioritize Your Needs and Wants – Not all homes have everything, in fact most don’t. Make a list of your household needs and wants for a new home. This list may include items such as  location, size, number of bedrooms, and other amenities. A clear list of priorities will help you in your search by eliminating options you will not be happy with. Separating needs and wants will help you know which items on your list you would be able to compromise on to secure a home.
  4. Research Neighborhoods – Often overlooked by new homeowners, the neighborhood. The area you choose to live in is just as important as the actual home. Do research on the area you’re interested in. Look for information on the local community, available schools, general safety, and other elements in the surrounding area. A tip from us is to visit the location of your home at different times of the day to gauge the level of activity there. Is it quiet during the day and loud at night? Where does traffic get backed up? Are the neighbors social? All questions that if answered can help you make an informed decision when buying a new home.
  5. Find a Reliable Real Estate AgentA trusted and qualified real estate agent gives you an advantage in the housing market. Real estate agents have years of experience and knowledge about the local market you likely don’t have the time to learn. Studied agents can guide you through any paperwork and assist with negotiating satisfactory sales terms. When you choose an agent who is trusted in the community to communicate well and have your best interests in mind you are helping to ensure yourself a smooth home buying experience.
  6. Attend Open Houses – Attending open houses in your desired location is an excellent way to explore your options and get a feel for what’s actually available for purchase. This can be a good way to vet your needs and wants list. Open houses are also opportunities to ask the current homeowners questions and gather information about the neighborhood. Take notes to reference later, and don’t be afraid to ask the listing agent at the open house about any concerns or uncertainties you have regarding the home. 
  7. Get a Professional Home Inspection – Before fully committing to a new home, never skip a home inspection. Even when a property looks like your perfect dream home on the surface, an inspection from a home inspection professional might uncover a hidden nightmare. Hiring a qualified inspector will help you identify any safety hazards or major repairs that your untrained eye could not spot. This will allow you to make a fully informed decision about your home purchase.
  8. Don’t Rush into a Decision – Resist the urge to rush into buying your home. We know buying a home can be an exciting process, but taking your time to carefully evaluate each property and weigh the pros and cons will help you in the long run. Don’t feel pressured to make a quick offer. There are always more homes on the market, be sure you are buying the home that is right for you. Taking your time to weigh all your options will ensure you make the right choice for this potential lifetime purchase.
  9. Negotiate Wisely – When you find your dream home, it’s not quite over yet. One of the final steps in buying a home is to enter negotiations with the seller. If you have hired a real estate agent as recommended they will help you craft a compelling offer to satisfy the sellers. Negotiation is still a two-way street. It is likely the sellers will ask you to compromise. Be willing to flex but be sure to stick to your budget. Negotiations can be intense, don’t get overwhelmed. 
  10. Plan for a smooth Closing – The final step in buying a home is closing which involves a significant amount of paperwork and financial transactions. To make this process as painless as possible ensure you have all the required documents in order. Documents needed include identification and financial statements. Work closing costs into your budget. These costs may involve fees for inspections, appraisals, and more.

Buying a home is a fulfilling life step, but we know the journey there can be stressful and confusing. Don’t approach it without a developed plan. By defining your budget, getting pre-approved for a mortgage, and working with a trusted real estate agent, you can streamline the process and reduce your stress level. Recognizing your needs and wants and being patient enough to find them will help you find the perfect home. Keep our ten tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to the dream of homeownership. Happy house hunting!

At House Help MN we understand the importance of a home and how big of a decision it is when it comes to buying or selling, and that not every situation is the same. That is why we follow a strict code of ethics and are transparent with everything we do. With 20 years in the real estate industry, we will walk you through multiple options and help you every step of the way. We will find a solution that is right for you and make the process quick and as easy as possible.

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