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Avoid Homebuying Stress with These Five Tips

Key takeaway

You may be able to reduce the stress of the homebuying process by securing your financing before you even start house hunting. Using our financial tools, relying on experienced professionals, and doing a bit of neighborhood research at the start of your homebuying journey can help you avoid the most common mistakes homebuyers make when purchasing a home.

Buying a house is a process with several moving parts, which can be stressful. One way to reduce the stress associated with homebuying is to secure your home financing before you start house hunting. 

Tip #1. Money rules – Don’t buy more house than you can afford.

Every decision about buying a house costs money, so money is a great place to start.

No matter how much you love a house, don’t buy a house you can’t afford. Every major decision you make during the process directly or indirectly impacts how much money you will need to spend to make an offer on a home, finance, and move into the home you buy.

Get a mortgage prequalification early in the home shopping process so you don’t fall in love with a house outside your comfort zone.  Learn the difference between prequalification and preapproval.

Beyond the mortgage, remember that a house will have other expenses, such as monthly utilities and ongoing maintenance needs and repairs.

Our mortgage affordability calculator can help you determine your price range. 

Get Prequalified 

Tip #2. Boost your money habits.

Knowing the financial habits that lead to your approval can help you maintain or even improve those habits.

Your preapproval is conditional, so everything in your financial profile needs to remain the same or improve. While actively shopping for a home, make sure your economic behavior doesn’t include spending or other financial decisions that could make your preapproval null and void.

Tip #3. Protect yourself – Don’t skip the home inspection.

Some homebuyers waive the home inspection to save time and money, or to compete in a hot market.

Home inspections can uncover problems far more costly than the inspection fee. Home inspections often identify problems related to the age and construction of the home. Some issues might be major, such as a sinking foundation, while others could warrant minor home repairs, such as a broken dishwasher.

Even in a competitive homebuying market, don’t ignore problems. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix them or lower the price of the house. 


Tip #4. Find the right fit – Carefully research the neighborhood.

While the home may seem perfect, it’s very important to consider the neighborhood.

  • Is the home near a busy street? Can you hear traffic noise?
  • Are there barking dogs, loud music, or other disturbances?
  • How close are the schools, and how do they rank compared to other nearby schools?
  • Do you feel safe in the neighborhood? Review crime statistics for the area.

These considerations and others may affect your sentiment about the home. Research the neighborhood by visiting at different times of day. 

Tip #5. Compete instead of chase.

A preapproval gives you a competitive advantage and time to choose homeownership instead of chasing it. 

Sellers need proof that you can pay their price  – One advantage of having a preapproval letter is it shows sellers you have the financing you need to pay their asking prices or deliver on any offer increase to beat out other buyers. For most lenders, your preapproval is valid for up to 90 days, as there aren’t drastic changes to the financial information provided when you submitted your preapproval application.

Time to choose instead of chase  – National Association REALTORS® found that in 2021, it took most buyers two months to find the right house.

Securing your mortgage preapproval before you start shopping for a home gives you up to four months, which on average, is double the time you need to find the right house. This means you don’t have to rush your process even in markets where bidding wars are normal.

Whether you decide to use a prequalification tool or complete a preapproval application, a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant can help answer your questions about the process and explain home mortgage loan options based on your unique financial situation and goals.

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