Tips to Reduce Stress When Becoming a Homeowner
April 20, 2020
Times are already stressful as it is. Don’t allow today’s world to alter your dream of buying your first or next home. This is the first of a two-part series to provide you tips to reduce stress from start to finish; from preparing for your home search to moving in. We’ll start by breaking down the actions you can begin working on today before even finding your dream home. Take on these steps as tasks one-by-one in order to enjoy the home buying experience as a prepared buyer.
Prepare Yourself for Being a Homeowner
This could be the most important part of buying a new home. The preparation before you even begin browsing homes will set you up for success and reduce the amount of stress you may feel when you begin your home search. The tips below provide you with the ability to discover which homes you qualify for and if you’re financially prepared to buy a home.
1. Decide on a New Construction Home or a Resale
There are significant differences in purchasing a new construction versus a resale home. This decision can narrow down your search significantly. Think about the lifestyle you live (or would like to live) and which type of home fits that mold. Always consider the true cost of the home. Factor in costs to remodel, redesign, and making the house livable in the resale home you may be considering. For a new construction neighborhood, factor in Homeowner’s Association cost (taking care of snow removal, landscaping, etc.) and the time you’ll save by having this covered. Move-in on your closing day and enjoy your home starting on Day #1!
New construction is just a simpler route. A few benefits include, but not limited to:
- You’ll have the ability to design your home from the start and determine specific features throughout your new home. Your choices, your home!
- New construction homes have never been lived in. You will be the first and only person to have lived in the home. Right before settlement, this home is thoroughly cleaned by professionals.
- New Construction homes offer the latest energy-efficient appliances and design.
- A green, energy-efficient home will often save you money in monthly bills.
- Fewer replacement and remodeling costs because everything is new. No room expansions, room additions, remodeling design, replacing heating/cooling units, holes in the roof, and more. It’s exactly what you asked for.
- 1-, 2- and 10-Year Warranties to Rest Assured
2. Evaluate Your Finances
Get your ducks in a row, as the old saying goes. There are several items that you’ll need to investigate before you decide to make the biggest purchase of your life.
- Check your credit score. Your FICO credit score will most likely need to be 680 or higher to be approved for a loan. What can you do to improve this score? The higher the score proves to lenders that you’re reliable and may provide you a lower interest rate.
- Start saving! You will be required to pay upfront costs such as a down payment, the closing costs, the cash-reserve requirements and more in addition to your mortgage. When the right house comes along, you do not want to hesitate on making it yours because someone else wanting the home may be more financially stable to make the move first.
Are there any costs you can cut from your monthly bills? Reevaluate your monthly expenditures to eliminate unnecessary costs and put those dollars toward your new home.
- Research your budget. How much do you feel comfortable spending each much on your mortgage? If you’re purchasing a home with a partner, friend, or family member, which range will work for you both? Take into consideration the other bills you have currently (phone, car payments, insurance) and the bills you will incur with a home purchase (water, cable, internet, trash).
3. Research the School District
Whether or not you have children who will be attending school in your home or not, the school district matters. Schools affect property values. The most sought-after neighborhoods and school districts generally appreciate faster. When it is an elite school district, it attracts more families which, in turn, increases the demand for real estate. Keep in mind that if you do buy a home in a desirable school district, the home tends to hold its value and the resale price is typically higher.
Don’t forget to look up the property taxes when looking for a new home.
4. Get Pre-Approved
Speak to a lender you trust about being pre-approved for a loan. This will not only help you solidify your budget and identify any areas that may need attention. Your lender will discuss your loan qualifications and any challenge areas you may face regarding credit score and/or debt. There may be areas that you may want to improve before applying for your mortgage. This step can differentiate you from another buyer who wants the same home you do, and it may give you the upper hand to make the house your
5. What are your Requirements in your New Home?
The financials are imperative to be allowed to move into a home, but buying a home is an emotional experience, as well. What are you even looking for in a new home? What do you WANT? What do you NEED? What are you trying to accomplish in this next move?
- Are you looking for a new location?
- Are you trying to be closer to work or family?
- Is your family expanding or do you have relatives moving in that you need additional sq. ft.?
- Do you want a walk-in closet in your owner’s suite or a double oven in your kitchen?
This is the FUN part. Make a checklist of your desires and necessities. This list will come in handy for next week’s Part 2 of this Reducing Stress series.
The Rouse Chamberlin Difference
Our team has worked diligently over the years to help make the home buying process easier for every homeowner. Our preferred lenders and preferred title company are experienced professionals and highly adept in new construction specifically. Working with our trusted lenders be guaranteed excellent customer service and you will save money on your home purchase.
Have Any Questions?
Take this next week to work through these tips and get started on making your home buying dream come true! If you have any questions about new construction or homebuying, please contact us and we will be happy to help you as much as we can! If you have questions about being pre-approved, find a lender your trust or speak to one of our preferred lenders.
Stay tuned for next week’s Part 2 to Reduce Stress when FINDING and BUYING a Home.