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Moving is one of the most stressful experiences a family goes through. First, you have to accustom yourself to the changes that are going to occur. Second, finding a real estate agent and searching for the perfect place to call home can take months. Finally, the process of actually moving your life from point A to point B is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive.
Of course, it isn’t all bad. There are tons of benefits of moving to a new house. You get to audit all the stuff you have and get rid of things your family does not need. A change of scenery can be good, especially if you are upgrading to a better job or bigger place. Finally, it can be a positive bonding experience for a family as you lean on each other to make the transition easier.
If you find yourself in a position where you are ready to buy a house, take the following tips into consideration to streamline the process and make it as smooth as possible.
Buying a house is a huge financial investment, so you want to make sure your finances are in order before even approaching a real estate agent. Here are some tips:
- Check your credit report. If it is less than stellar, check for errors and dispute any you find. If you owe money, work on paying that off before you consider applying for a home loan.
- If your credit score is acceptable, set aside the maximum amount you are willing to spend on a down payment. The more you can put down, the lower your monthly mortgage payment.
- Research your potential markets and figure out which markets have homes that fall within your budget.
- Find a lender. If you have a real estate agent, ask him or her for a referral. Your agent is more likely to set you up with someone who is willing to lend because your agent wants your home-buying venture to be successful.
Looking at Homes
You may have a dream home in mind, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will line up with your family’s needs and budget. Be mentally flexible when looking for a house but don’t compromise when it comes to safety and school districts. Some advice includes:
- Narrowing your search by looking at online listings, details, and photos before spending your valuable time seeing the house in person. Tell your real estate agent about the listings you are interested in and ask him or her to obtain any additional information not listed online.
- Having your agent provide multiple listing service numbers regarding comparable sales in your targeted neighborhood or neighborhoods.
- If you find that choices are limited, consider looking at foreclosures and fixer-uppers that will save you money but will cost more in work down the road. While these houses require more resources, you have the flexibility to make changes as you like over time.
- When you find a home, make an intelligent and informed offer and be prepared to negotiate.
Finding a home isn’t the end of your workload. Moving day can be the biggest task of all. The following are some tips for prepping for moving day:
- Use a moving cost calculator to view quotes for all available moving options and find one in your budget.
- Account for unanticipated expenses that are bound to come up.
- Cut down on costs by looking for boxes and other moving materials for free on Craigslist.
- Schedule your moving day during the week for lower rates and less traffic.
Moving is a huge life change for a family, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a negative experience. Preparing yourself is the best way to simplify the overall process and make sure it goes smoothly. First, you want your finances to be in order before looking at a house. Once it is time to look at the market, be flexible and use your real estate agent as a resource. Finally, when moving day finally arrives, save money where you can because unexpected expenses are bound to pop up.