Reduce home buying stress with preparation
Multiple offers, low inventory, rising prices………. ARGH!!!!!
If you want to de-stress the home buying process, it doesn’t matter if you are a first-time buyer or a move up buyer the basics for getting your ducks in a row remain the same.
- How are you going to pay for it?
- What do you want in your new home?
Unless your answers are: CASH and whatever is available you have some work to do.
The first thing to do is figure out how much home you can afford and where the money is coming from. Cash is usually king but most buyers are using some type of financing (mortgage) to purchase. It’s critical that you work with a knowledgeable, credible mortgage professional that will walk you through the process and ask all the right questions. You also are looking for a lender who will pre-approve you after you have submitted proper documentation. A prequalification letter stating that you are qualified for mortgage pending employment and income verification is not the same as a preapproval. With all the competition from other buyers you want to be the STRONGEST BUYER in the pack.
Buyers that are utilizing a government program like Rural Development, FHA, DVA, etc. are great candidates if they have done the upfront work with the lender and have chosen a property that will qualify for that type of financing. The government programs have more stringent requirements for home condition than most conventional loans. Distressed properties that need major repairs or have significant maintenance issues will likely not qualify for a government back loan. You can try to make an offer but if the property fails to pass through the appraisal process you will be out the cost of the appraisal and perhaps a home inspection.
One other thing that should be on your financial list is livability costs. Aside from the property taxes and homeowners insurance what about utilities (bigger house means more heat and lights). Are sewer and water rates higher in the new city? What is the impact on your commute expense to get to work, shopping, school???? Livability costs are something every home owner should consider before venturing out to tour homes.
So now you know where the money is coming from. What will the next home look like? What are your must haves? What are your dream features? The preparation in this step is critical to avoid unnecessary challenges and missed opportunities. Trying to see every house in your area is not productive. You want to see the right house because that’s the one you’re going to buy.
I love lists so I suggest you establish a solid checklist that has “Must Haves”, “Deal Breaker Can’t Haves”, “Would Like To Haves” and “Would be nice to haves”
In my opinion the list comes after the finance piece is done. Here is a checklist you can use to get started on the process.
So take a deep breath gather your thoughts and you can reduce home buying stress with preparation