3 Steps to Stress-Free Home Buying

by Christy Bieber | Published on Sept. 17, 2022

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A family meets with a realtor, who points at paperwork and smiles in a kitchen.

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Don't buy a home until you've read these tips.


Key points

  • Buying a home can be a great financial move if you're ready for it.
  • It can be stressful to make such a big financial commitment and to find the right property.
  • Taking some smart steps, like doing your research and getting a pre-approval, can help you make the process easier.

If you're buying a home, you're making one of the biggest financial commitments of your life. You want to be sure you're in the right place financially to do so -- and that you make smart decisions during the home-buying process.

This can be quite stressful for many people, but fortunately there are three tips you can follow to make the process of purchasing a property easier and more fun. Here's what they are.

1. Do your research

It's extremely important to be fully informed of all aspects of the home-buying process if you want it to be stress free. This means you should research:

  • What kind of house you want. Would you prefer a single-family home, a townhouse, or a condo?
  • What properties are typically selling for in your area. You can check local real estate listings to see prices on homes that are currently for sale and that have recently sold.
  • What kinds of mortgages are available. Do you want a 15-year loan with lower total costs and higher monthly payments or a 30-year loan that offers the reverse? Should you get a conventional mortgage not guaranteed by any government agency or a government-backed loan that's open to people who may not be as qualified to borrow but that come with higher fees?
  • How much you can afford to spend. Don't leave this decision to a lender, as you are in the best position to understand how much you can spend each month without affecting other goals

2. Get pre-approved

Once you've done your research, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage.

This involves first getting preliminary quotes from several lenders and deciding which one to move forward with. Once you've chosen a lender that's likely to offer you the best rate, you will provide financial credentials. The lender will pre-approve you for a set amount at a specific interest rate, which you can opt to lock in if you want.

Pre-approval doesn't necessarily guarantee you a loan. But it allows you to ensure you can qualify for a mortgage if your financial credentials don't change and the house passes muster. This is important so you don't waste time looking at homes you can't afford, and also because sellers will usually require pre-approval before accepting your offer to buy.

3. Find the right help

Finally, you should make sure you have the right team to help you with the purchase process.

This could mean finding the right mortgage broker or loan officer to assist with finding the perfect loan. It typically also means making sure you're working with a real estate agent who you can trust to guide you through the process of identifying the home that's right for you and making a fair offer on it.

By taking these three steps, you'll make certain you look at homes you can afford, that the process of getting a mortgage is easy, and that you'll have someone looking out for your interests. This will all add up to a situation where buying a home is as stress free as it can possibly be.

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