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 your personality.
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 home.
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.
Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.