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Take The Stress Out of Home Buying

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as stress-free as possible. 
1.   Find a REALTOR® who you
      connect with.
      Home buying is not only a big
      financial commitment, but also
      an emotional one. It’s critical
      that the REALTOR® you choose
      is both highly skilled and a
      good fit with your personality.

2.   Remember, there’s no
      “right” time to buy, just as
      there’s no perfect time to
      If you find a home now, don’t
      try to second-guess interest
      rates or the housing market
      by waiting longer — you risk
      losing out on the home of your
      dreams. The housing market
      usually doesn’t change fast
      enough to make that much
      difference in price, and a
      good home won’t stay on the
      market long.

3.   Don’t ask for too many opinions.
It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many
      many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs
      of your immediate family — the people who will living in the home.

4.   Accept that no house is ever perfect.
If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen
      may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on
      things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

5.   Don’t try to be a killer negotiator.
Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an
      extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love.
      Negotiation is give and take.

6.   Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen,
      etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and
      other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

7.   Plan ahead.
Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage,
      to investigate home insurance, or to consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer
      contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

8.   Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget.
Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and then be
      forced to let your home deteriorate for lack of funds.

9.   Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass.
Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields
      big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in
      love with your purchase. 

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation.
While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually from 1998 to
      2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine ( with permission of the
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. 

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