How to avoid stress during the homebuying process


How to avoid stress during the homebuying process



Buying a house may seem so complicated that you don’t even know where to start. There are so many things to worry about. You might not get approved for financing. The seller might turn down your offer. The home inspector might detect serious problems. You might get a low appraisal that changes your financing terms.


All of these things are out of your control. There are some things you can control however, which will help make the process go more smoothly and leave you less stressed.


1. Know what you’re looking for


Instead of looking at every house on the market, decide what kind of home you want and need. This will narrow the field and help you focus. Some of the things you need to consider before you start looking include:


       ●       Type of home (single-family home, condominium, or townhome)

       ●       Square footage

       ●       Number of bedrooms and baths

       ●       >One story or multi-level

       ●       Exterior (wood, brick, vinyl)

       ●       Type of floor plan

       ●       Age of the house

       ●       Amenities (pool, tennis, golf course)

       ●       School district

       ●       Neighborhood

       ●       Distance from work, expressways, shopping, entertainment, and recreation

2. Keep an open mind


You will never find the perfect house. If you’re not willing to be flexible, you’ll never buy anything. Prioritize your preferences and be ready to compromise. Separate the things that determine what you must have (number of bedrooms, convenience to work, school system) from the things you would like to have (pool, 3 car garage, solid hardwood flooring).


It’s important to ask the right questions and be picky on the things that matter most, but you also need to be willing to accept that no situation will ever be perfect; prioritize what matters, and be willing to concede points on the rest.


3. Save up enough cash


Buying a house is an expensive undertaking. There is no point in even looking if you don’t have the funds to complete the transaction. You may qualify for a deferred 2nd mortgage or grant to help with down payment and closing costs, but these won’t cover everything. Some of the costs you’ll be looking at include:


       ●       Earnest money deposit

       ●       Home inspection

       ●       Appraisal fee

       ●       Mortgage application and credit check fees

       ●       Down payment (3.5% – 10% depending on your credit score)

       ●       Closing costs (3% – 5% of your mortgage amount)

       ●       Moving costs

       ●       Repairs and furniture

4. Get pre-approved for financing


Before you start house hunting, you need to work with a lender to get pre-approval for a certain mortgage amount. This will save you time and headaches by eliminating properties that are outside your reach. Some sellers and agents won’t even work with potential buyers who haven’t been pre-approved for financing.


In order to get the best possible financing deal, you may have some work to do. Increasing your credit score by paying your bills on time and cleaning up your credit will improve your chances of getting a loan and may reduce the amount of your required down payment.


5. Consider making an all-cash offer


Companies like Homeward allow qualified buyers to purchase the home of their choice before they even list their old one. Once you’ve found the house of your dreams, Homeward provides the funds that allow you to make a cash offer.


Sellers love cash offers. They’re twice as likely to accept a cash offer over one that requires financing. You might even be able to negotiate a 3% – 5% discount on the purchase price with your cash offer.


You can then list your old house and rent the new one from Homeward for 6 months. When your house sells, your mortgage kicks in and the rental agreement ends. If your house doesn’t sell, Homeward will buy it from you for a predetermined fair market price.


Buying a house should be exciting, not a series of panic attacks. The best way to reduce stress and anxiety during the process is to educate yourself, do your homework, and take your time.


Compare listings