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Don’t buy a house before reading these tips.

Key points

  • Buying a home can be a great financial decision if you’re ready for it.
  • It can be stressful to make such a financial commitment and find the right property.
  • Taking smart steps like doing your research and getting pre-approved can help 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 make sure you’re in the right place financially to do so and that you’re making informed decisions during the home buying process.

It can be quite stressful for many people, but luckily there are three tips you can follow to make the property buying process easier and more fun. Here is what they are.

1. Do your research

It is extremely important to be fully informed about all aspects of the home buying process if you want it to be stress free. This means you should look for:

  • What kind of house do you want. Do you prefer a single family home, a townhouse or a condo?
  • What prices do properties in your area typically sell for? You can check local real estate listings to see the prices of homes currently for sale and 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 offering the opposite? Should you get a conventional mortgage not guaranteed by a government agency or a government guaranteed loan open to people who may not be as qualified to borrow but come with higher fees?
  • How much you can afford to spend. Don’t leave that decision up to a lender, because you’re in the best position to figure out 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 go with. Once you’ve chosen a lender who is likely to offer you the best rate, you’ll provide financial information. The lender will pre-approve you for a fixed amount at a specific interest rate, which you can choose to lock in if you wish.

Pre-approval does not necessarily guarantee you a loan. But it allows you to make sure 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 for homes you can’t afford, and also because sellers will usually need pre-approval before accepting your offer to buy.

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3. Find the right help

Finally, you need to make sure you have the right team to help you through the buying process.

It could mean finding the right mortgage broker or loan officer to help you find the perfect loan. This usually also means working with a realtor you can trust to walk you through the process of identifying the right home for you and making a fair offer on it.

Following these three steps will ensure that you are looking for homes you can afford, that the process of getting a mortgage is easy, and that you have someone looking out for you. All of this will add up to a situation where buying a home is as stress-free as possible.

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