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8 tips to avoid stress when buying a home
By Texas Assoc. of Realtors
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 • Posted January 10, 2013 4:54 PM

Buying a home for the first time or the fifth can elicit a range of emotions from excitement to anxiety. Owning a home you can make your own can be fulfilling, but taking on the responsibility of homeownership might be stressful. The good news is that you can reduce that stress and focus on the enjoyable aspects of homebuying with these eight tips:

Be a smart saver. Long before you tour potential properties, lay the groundwork for a good home-buying experience by saving up for your down payment. Having some money to put toward the purchase gives you more flexibility when it’s time to get a loan.

Know what your credit report says. You’ll want to check your credit report to see if there are any mistakes or problems you can clear up prior to applying for a mortgage. You can request one free credit report annually from each of the three credit-reporting companies by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

Learn about loans. Finding out as much as you can about various types of loans and assistance programs will give you the knowledge to find the right loan for you – one that you will be able to afford for the life of the loan. You can research whether you qualify for any assistance programs at TxHomePrograms.org.

Get pre-approved. You’ll put yourself in a strong homebuying position by getting pre-approved – not just pre-qualified – for a mortgage. Be realistic about how much you can actually afford. Take a hard look at your own finances and future plans to make sure you are living within your means.

Determine what you really want. Do you see yourself in a ranch-style home or downtown loft apartment? A neighborhood where you can walk your kids to school?

Figure out what features are most important to you and decide if there are some items you desire but could look past if everything else falls into place. Once you determine the must-haves, you can quickly make decisions about which properties to view.

Make sure you have professional assistance. Buying real estate is much more involved than most other transactions, even high-dollar purchases like automobiles and stocks. It can be a tremendous help to have a professional looking out for your best interests along the way.

A Texas realtor can explain the entire process, help you negotiate, keep the transaction on track and make sure you have the information you need to make good decisions.

Understand what goes into an offer. There’s much more to a good offer than deciding what price you’re willing to pay. Before you start searching for homes, talk to your Texas realtor about earnest money, option periods and fees, inspections, contingencies, closing time frames and other factors that may make your offer more attractive to the seller while protecting your interests.

Don’t let up after your offer is accepted. Not every transaction ends up with a closing. However, you give yourself the best chance of getting the keys to your new home if you and your realtor stay on top of the deadlines and tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during this important part of the process. It will save you time and stress later on.

Buying a home should be an exciting time in your life. If you plan well and work with people who are looking out for your best interests, you can minimize the stress and enjoy the process of purchasing a new home.

For more information on buying a home or finding a Texas realtor, visit TexasRealEstate.com. For your real estate needs, please contact Waymond Lightfoot (RE/MAX Genesis) at 210-386-5201.

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