There are a lot of moving pieces to buying a home—let alone your first home. We’ve outlined three important steps that often get deprioritized amidst open houses and paperwork but are crucial to surviving the homebuying experience.
1. Pay off your debt.
This is Dave Ramsey’s first tip for first-time home buyers. Buying a house is expensive, and the number of first-time homebuyers who can make a cash offer is scarce. You’ll want to pay off as much debt as possible before buying a house considering a mortgage is yet another loan to add to your list of monthly payments—and a big one at that. Paying off debt will also boost your credit score, which mortgage lenders will take into consideration before approving you for a loan.
2. Find the best realtor.
A real estate agent can make or break your first home buying experience. You can vet realtors by reading the reviews on their websites and Yelp in addition to asking them questions about their qualifications, specialties, and years of experience. Sometimes realtors are “specialized” in serving first-time homeowners. A good realtor is an expert of the area that you’re moving to, an honest advisor who gives unbiased feedback upon request, and available to meet with you and schedule house tours frequently.
3. Enjoy the journey.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the process of buying your first home. This is an exciting milestone in your life, and certainly cause for celebration. Unfortunately, the excitement is often clouded by anticipation and stress. A few ways homebuyers can prevent burnout is by delegating tasks to family, friends, and professionals; staying healthy by eating homemade meals, taking vitamins and CBD, and getting a good night’s sleep; and planning a housewarming party to look forward when all of the paperwork is finished and your boxes are unpacked.