Take the stress out of home buying

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Q: Buying a home can be a stressful experience. Are there any tips from professionals that could help make it a better, more relaxed experience?

A: Buying a home — whether it’s your first or your tenth — can be an exciting experience.  For many people it can also be stressful.

Experts agree that there are some things you can do to reduce the stress and make the home buying experience a more pleasant one.

Buying a home represents one of the largest purchases that most people will make during their lives. Having an expert working with you and on your behalf can help you with making an offer, negotiating a final price, applying for a mortgage, arranging for an inspection, getting insurance and all of the other important steps involved.

No matter what you’ve heard or read, there is no perfect time to buy (or sell) a house. The time to buy is when you are ready — and when you have found a home that meets your needs. Trying to guess what interest rates will do in a few months or how the market might change and how low prices will drop may only mean that you will miss out on the home you really want to buy. Buying a home always involves choices.  Make a list of your top priorities and focus on those items that are the most important to you.

Planning ahead can help keep stress out of the process.  Ask your REALTOR® to help you get a pre-qualification letter from a lender. Knowing how much you can borrow will help you in your search.  And presenting the pre-qualification letter to sellers tells them that you will be able to afford the purchase.

Have a general moving plan in mind. Do you need to sell your current house to afford to buy another? How much time do you expect that will require? Once you do sell, will you be ready to move quickly? The fewer contingencies there are in your offer to buy, the more likely a seller will accept it.

Most importantly, think carefully about why you are looking to buy. Owning a home offers tax breaks, appreciation, equity, freedom (that you don’t have when you rent someone else’s property), stability and more. These are all good reasons why owning may be better for you than renting.  However, the most important reason to buy a home is because you love it. All of the other benefits are on top of the pleasure you will have in living in a home you truly enjoy.

This article was provided by the Grand Junction Area Realtor Association in conjunction with the Colorado Association of REALTORS®. Additional information about buying and selling real estate is available at http://www.coloradorealtors.com

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