10 Things to Take the Trauma Out of Homebuying

by Rachel Lipszyc

March 16, 2023

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1. Find a real estate professional who’s simpatico. Homebuying is not only a big financial
commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the practitioner you choose is
both skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, any more than there’s a right time to sell. If
you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market
by waiting. Changes don’t usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in
price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.

3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision,
but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you
and let the minor ones go.

5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate
process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you

6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical
aspects of the house itself—room size, kitchen—that you forget such issues as amenities,
noise level, etc., that have a big impact on what it’s like to live in your new home.

7. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage,
investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an
offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-homebuying budget. Even if you buy
a new home, there will be some costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home

9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home,
especially for the first time, is a big commitment, but it also yields big benefits.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S.
homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually from 1998 to 2002, a home’s
most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

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