Shopping for a house is not for the faint of heart. From credit scores to inspection reports, the entire process is anxiety-filled from beginning to end. Television shows may make house hunting look fun, but the stress is real.
Figure Out the Money First
From figuring out a budget you can live with to a credit score that rocks, the money aspect of buying a house is the most important factor that you need to contend with. Not only do you need to work on saving for a down payment and closing costs, but you also need to look at your credit report. Get a copy of your FICO report from your mortgage lender or grab a free copy of your credit report from a credit agency. Make sure that everything on it is correct and deal with any unpaid debt that you forgot about. Talk to your mortgage lender about how you can improve your score, which will, in turn, help lower the interest rate on your home loan.
Hire a Great Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent is like finding another person to play ball on Team You. Not only do real estate agents have years of experience in finding the right house for their clients, but they also know the ins and outs of your local market. Trust your agent to guide you through the house buying process.
Get an Inspection
After you put an offer in on a house that you like and come to terms on price with the seller, you will need to have a home inspection done. Do not skip this step. Even if you have a father/uncle/friend that is handy with repairs, you still need to pay for a home inspection. You want an experienced professional to climb up on the roof and into the crawlspace to look at every square foot of your dream home. They will let you know if the home is a solid purchase and how much time you have before you need to replace key items, like the roof, windows, or mechanical systems. Their time is worth every penny.
Let the Idea of The Perfect House Go
If you have a picture in your head of what the perfect house looks like, you need to let it go. No house is perfect. Focus on the key features that you must have to make the housework at this point in your life. If being close to work is important, focus on that. If having a bedroom for each of your children is important, then make sure your real estate agent knows that it is a priority for your family.
Take a deep breath, trust the professionals on your team, and let go of perfection. You got this.