Minimize Your Stress When Buying a Home

Posted by Lise | Filed under: Buyers

Buying a home is one of the most stressful things that you will do – even when you have done it before.  Still, people keep doing it, and so will you! You can minimize your stress by following a couple of rules, and by having a good team with you – a good Realtor, a good lender, and a good title company.  I promise that the Lise Howe Team meets the first criteria, and we will supply the rest to make your life as stress free as possible! Now read on for the rest of my suggestions!

1.  Follow the  Boy Scouts: be prepared. Scrambling for money and documents that the lender, unexpectedly, “requires” to close has got to rank up there in the top couple of stressors that buyers experience. Once you get into contract and, especially, once you’ve removed contingencies and put your deposit money on the line, every request that your lender makes seems like a ransom demand for your home – and your life, as you’d planned it.

Don’t scramble – and don’t panic!  Be prepared from the beginning.   As soon as you start thinking about buying a home, talk to a lender so you can know what kind of cash you’ll realistically need to make a purchase – before you start the buying process.   When the lender gives you a range of money needed to close,  err on the high side.  Start saving now so you aren’t digging for pennies in the couch the day before settlement.

And have all your documents ready, too – things like divorce decrees, tax returns, updated check stubs, documentation of bills that you’ve recently paid down or off , even driver’s licenses (which will be required at closing.)  If you are relocating to another state and putting everything in storage for the move, please be sure to bring the important papers with you.  The ones you pack and leave behind are of course the ones your lender will need to close your loan!

Last, but not least, you will be a lot less stressed if you know what is coming. Educate yourself about the standard practices and timelines for a real estate transaction in your local market. Your agent should help with this!  If you’re buying a bank-owned property or a short-sale, educate yourself about what this will involve!

2.  Keep your timelines as flexible as possible, as long as possible.

Be prepared for the possibility that your closing will be delayed.  It just happens a lot more frequently that you would expect.   As far as the lender is concerned, closing dates are not set in stone. Buyers who are trying to time their closing so that they move out of their apartment on the exact day they plan to close are likely to be disappointed – and temporarily homeless – in the current market climate.

Instead, you should plan on some overlapping days, weeks or even a month between the time you should be able to move into your next home, and the time you must be out of your current home, if you can afford it. Keep your moving plans flexible as long as possible.

3. Do your research ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than doing every thing you’re supposed to do, then having the deal fall apart at the last minute, through no fault of your own.

If you are looking at a short sale, remember that short sales aren’t short, and they are frequently a heart breaker.  Find out as much as you can about the seller’s situation before you make an offer.  For instance, which bank is  involved – is it more than one bank? How successful is the listing agent is at closing short sale transactions? The answer to these things can give your agent and yourself a clue as to whether a short sale is likely to close.  Similarly, if you’re getting an FHA loan, before you make an offer, walk through the property with your agent and troubleshoot it for condition problems that might come up during the appraisal.

With this information you can make an informed decision whether to move forward and try to buy that property.  There is nothing worse than giving your heart to a property and finding out that you can’t buy it!


25 Responses

  1. Gander says:

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