Getting organized and being prepared is the best way to combat the stress associated with moving. Whether you’re upgrading, downsizing, trekking far away or staying close by, the homebuying process can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to.
Here are 4 steps to help you prepare if you’re a ways out from buying a home:
1. Get your finances in order
Preparing to buy a home begins with organizing finances, calculating a realistic budget and exploring mortgage options. Analyzing your current cost of living and savings can help determine how much you can afford for a down payment.
2. Make a wish list
Take a good look at your current living situation and evaluate what you’d like to see differently in your future home. Is it more counter space in the kitchen? Or an extra bedroom to use as a home office? Whatever it may be, start a wish list for must-haves in your new space.
Consider dividing the list into “want” and “need” categories, that way you know which features to prioritize and which can be compromised.
3. Search for homes online
Browsing for homes online is easy – and, hey, it’s free entertainment. If the prospect of moving is a distant dream or you’re not ready to start touring homes yet, comb local listings online to get a feel for size, style and pricing of various properties. This is a flexible way to discover likes and dislikes, all while continuing to fine-tune that wish list.
Checking out listings and their accompanying photos is also an opportunity to see homes before touring them in person. You might find a hidden gem – or even your dream home – in a property that strays from your typical taste.
4. Find an agent
Who better to guide you through the homebuying process than a qualified real estate professional? Even if the move is months away, it’s important to start communication with an agent who best suits your needs.
When navigating the largest financial transaction of your life, it’s best to have an expert guide you through the process – from following safety protocols to negotiating contracts.