There’s a lot to think about when you want to buy a home. At times, it can even be a little overwhelming and possibly scary.
It’s a huge financial commitment, both because of the actual mortgage and potential property taxes and insurance. Plus, once you get the house, you’ll have to pay for upkeep, possibly renovate it and buy furniture for all the new rooms you’ll have.
It can seem like a lot, but there are many ways to ease the potential stress of purchasing a home and puts you through the process unscathed and happy with your decision.
“There is so much to weigh when buying a house, and you have to figure out what’s important to you personally,” says Dustin Brohm, real estate author, nationally-published blogger and real estate agent at Equity Real Estate in Salt Lake City. “Avoid rushing and allow yourself to think things through.”
Here are some of those fears you might have and what to do about them.
Do I even qualify for a mortgage?
People go on Credit Karma or other sites and see they had a late payment in the past. “So, they just decide not to even try applying for a mortgage,” Brohm explains.
But acceptable credit scores can change from lender to lender. Also, you should apply for a preapproval and actually see if you’re qualified before you assume you aren’t.
If you don’t get approved, a good lender will tell you what you can do about it to make your chances of getting a loan better.
What if I don’t like it there?
Some folks figure that if they rent and they don’t like their neighbors, they can get out of their lease or sub-lease and go somewhere else. If you buy a home, they feel it is set in stone and becomes a burden.
“In some ways, it is. But if you buy a house and in two years the market keeps going up, you can rent the house or sell it because it already has great value. All the benefits dramatically outweigh the negatives,” he says.
Maintaining a house is too expensive
When renting, the landlord takes care of all the repairs and broken appliances. The fear of extra expenses is a good healthy fear, Brohm adds. “It gets people to really think and budget whether they actually can afford a house.”
There are a lot of expenses such as buying a lawn mower and all new furniture, plus your future costs of preschool, medical bills and more. That’s hard to quantify. So, educate yourself about what all your expenses might be.
What if I lose my earnest money?
People will search online and see the horror stories of people losing their thousand-dollar deposits on a house they never got.
But if you have a good realtor, losing your earnest money probably won’t happen, so long as you don’t do something like open up new lines of credit.
It’s an old house, and it will have so many problems
Brohm tells all his clients that there is no possible way to buy a perfect house. “There is always something wrong even in the new ones. Hiring a home inspector is big. If you are concerned about structural problems, bring in an engineer, too.”
If there are problems, you can ask for them to be fixed or for the price to be reduced on the contract.
Mortgage rates are going too high
People get scared by what news reports say, and bunker down to wait for the rates to go back down.
“But it’s still a pretty good time to buy even though the rates are going up. I’ve had a couple of clients who wanted to buy, but decided to wait, and then they couldn’t buy the house they wanted,” Brohm adds.
In fact, current rates are still relatively low. They may be higher than they were at this time last year, but it doesn’t mean they’re too high to purchase a home with.
I won’t be able to find the right house in time
If you have a job offer far away from your home now or if the lease for your rental is up in a few months, don’t feel rushed. You might have to rent for a little longer or take out another lease to find the right place. Always have a backup plan so you don’t end up in a motel somewhere for months.
“Sacrifice your comfort in the short term to make sure you will be happy in the long term,” he said.