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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Richardson - Mortgage Consultant

Buy Like a Pro

There are a few things that even first-time homebuyers can do to purchase their property like a pro. Here are some of my favorite pieces of advice to give to my clients.

Moving Tips

If you want to save yourself both time and sanity during a move, I have a game-changing tip that’s one of my all-time favorites. I’ve moved 10 times in just 11 years–so I know a thing or two about making the process smoother. However, this trick from a fellow military spouse took things to a whole new level.

When you’re unpacking boxes, it can be tempting to try and immediately find a spot for everything. But let’s be real: that just means traipsing around your new place with tchotchkes in hand, trying to decide on the perfect place for each one. It’s a major time-suck, and not to mention, exhausting.

Instead, designate a specific area (whether it’s a room or a table) as your “decor zone.” As you unpack, place items like candles, artwork, and plants in this one centralized spot. Then, you can focus on getting your furniture and larger items set up in the rest of the house, so you can clear out the clutter of boxes and random objects.

Once the basics are taken care of, you can turn your attention to the fun stuff and decorate your new home to your heart’s content. Trust me–this tip will make your move go much more smoothly and keep your stress levels in check.

Avoid These Homebuyer Mistakes

As a lender, there are three things I never do when buying a home. Over the years I’ve seen too many homebuyers make the same mistakes, so I try and avoid them at all costs.

If you want to buy a home like a pro, make sure to avoid these easy-to-make errors:

  • Buying without a budget:

Smart home buyers develop a budget even before they start talking with a lender. You know your budget best; you know how you spend your money and what’s most important to you. Step one is to figure out what you can comfortably pay each month and then work with a lender to reverse-engineer what sales price will keep you in that payment price.

  • Buying without understanding how credit works:

With free resources available to check your credit, there shouldn’t be any surprises when a lender pulls your report. If buying a home is in your future, monitoring your credit and cleaning up any negative information before getting preapproved can save you thousands. (Feel free to reach out to me if you’re wondering how to access these free credit resources.)

  • Buying based on emotion

For most people, owning a home involves both their largest debt (their mortgage) and their largest asset (their home). While I’ve enjoyed each property I’ve bought, at the end of the day, it’s a financial decision. This means I make sure the math makes sense before I get too excited about a property.

Emotion vs. Logic

Let me tell you the story of the time I let my emotions get the best of me and nearly bought a house that would have been a total mistake.

A few things you should know about me: I live in a small city in which my grandparents were some of the first people who built their home. I love my home, but at the time I told my husband that my grandparents’ former home was the only other one I’d consider living in.

Surprisingly, my grandparents’ home went up for sale, and we went to look at it twice. It needed major repair (but the seller would handle it!), the layout wasn’t really what our family would need (but it would only be temporary!), and we’d need to make some structural changes (but reconfiguring the garage wouldn’t be too complicated, right?).

I was so focused on the concept of buying my “family’s home” that I almost got swept away making a decision that wasn’t smart–neither financially nor logistically. We actually made an offer, but during negotiations, when the price went above my comfort level, it hit me: it wasn’t really about the house–I didn’t even want it that badly. I just wanted to feel connected with my family.

In the end, we withdrew our offer, and something even better eventually came along. My advice is, of course, to buy a home you love–but don’t let your emotions get in the way of making smart financial decisions.

If you have your own moving hacks or something you always avoid doing when moving, I’d love to read your tips in the comments!

In the meantime, turn into a pro and get started on the homebuying process! If you have any additional questions about the first steps towards buying your home, feel free to reach out to a member of my team!

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