Looking for a house is as stressful as it is exciting. Amid all that excitement of looking at houses and the prospect of starting a new chapter, when you’re house hunting in a market with a limited housing inventory you’re bound to get overwhelmed and stressed out!
You don’t have to be.
We want to help you keep your cool and reduce stress because this is supposed to be a memorable journey for all of the right reasons.
1. Understand your budget and stick to it
Oftentimes first-time homebuyers think they can afford a higher budget than what they actually qualify for. It stinks when you think you’ve found the house of your dreams that’s within your presumed budget than what a lender will actually approve you for. That’s why the very first thing you need to do before you even start looking at houses is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
2. Start looking online to find features you want
When we are in the beginning stages of looking for a house, we may have a laundry list of things we want in a house and to find our dream home with all of those features… It’ll usually be over budget. So, to get an idea of how far your money will go, start looking at houses in your desired area online.
According to top agent insights, southern cities with a population between 500,000 to 1 million are extremely popular for people relocating because the city is growing, it has a lot of the key features people want (lots of shopping, a nightlife, recreational activities, good schools and plenty of job opportunities). If you aren’t willing to compromise on the features you want or can’t find a place within your budget with the most important features you’re looking for, consider looking at smaller neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city where you’ll get more bang for your buck.
3. Hire a top rated real estate agent
Although you can look at houses online, buying a house this way is not ideal. You may want to buy on your own because you’re unsure about the details on an agent’s commission, but trust us… You’ll want to get a top-selling real estate agent. They know the market in your desired area and they’ll be able to recommend houses that best fit your criteria. They’ll be honest with you regarding just how far your money will go and they’ll be able to give you reassurance when you’re starting to feel like you’ll never find a home.
4. View houses, but not too many!
Nowadays, people love to keep their options open. However when you’re looking at houses, you don’t want to look at dozens of houses because that’s a sure fire way to get overwhelmed. Ask your real estate agent to show you maybe five or six houses that are within your budget, in your desired area, and check off as many features on your wants list. If after seeing those houses and none are a fit, then you go back and reevaluate your options.
5. Lean on a supportive person when you get overwhelmed
Your real estate agent is going to be someone you can lean on during this process, but you’ll also want to lean on a close friend or relative who have purchased a home before. They understand the challenge of trying to find a house and they understand the ups and downs of the process in general. You’d be surprised by how helpful a support person can be when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed.
You’re going to go through a plethora of emotions while on your house hunting journey and it’s understandable if you feel stressed out every now and then. But hopefully these tips will help you keep your cool and stay optimistic because your agent is going to do their best to find you a great house to call your own.