Buying a house can be a stressful and difficult time – finding the perfect home, making offers, waiting and filling out all the paperwork on closing day. To ease the stress a bit, here are 7 steps to consider that may make the process a little easier.

1. Get Pre-Approved
The first step for any home buying process is to get pre-approved for your potential home loan. This not only helps you to establish how much you can afford and how much the bank will approve, but it also gives you a place to start your home buying journey.

2.Timing
Avoid trying to time the market. Honestly, the best time to buy is when you feel ready and you find the perfect house for you and your family.

3. Remember – a Home is an Investment
Once you find homes you are interested in, it is important not to get too attached. Remember that what you’re getting into is an investment. Stay calm, be wise, and follow your instincts on buying the house. It’s also important because the market moves fast, and there are a lot of steps and approval processes between putting in an offer, being accepted and closing on the home.

4. Check Out the Neighborhood
While also looking for the perfect house, it’s important to keep the neighborhood in mind because when you buy a house you also buy the neighborhood. Before you decide whether you love the house, check out the home and the neighborhood during different times of the week to make sure that it is as idyllic as you want it to be.

5. Compare Nearby Homes
Not only is it wise to check the cost of homes nearby that have recently sold to determine if the asking price is fair, but it’s also important to look at the size of the homes in the vicinity. For example, if you’re interested in a large home but the rest of the homes in the neighborhood are significantly smaller, your house only has the same potential for increase as the other houses. This mostly comes out in the look at costs per a square foot.

6. Determining an Offer Amount
While determining an offer for a house, one of the most important things to consider is what other costs are associated with the house. Know the property tax amount, the potential insurance cost, and any homeowner association costs that are a part of buying the home. Budgeting for these allows you to make sure that you have properly accounted for what you can afford.

7.Don’t Forget the Inspection
This is often completed after your offer has been accepted and a contract has been written (contingent on the inspection). An inspection can save you thousands down the road. Be sure to get an unbiased third party to do the inspection, and usually, you can use this as a bargaining tool during negotiations.

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