So you’ve tied the knot – congratulations! The next big step in your marriage is to say “I do” to your first home! Here are a few tips that will make your home-buying experience as perfect as your wedding day.
1. Figure out your budget.
Just like you did for your wedding, you’ll want to have a housing budget. According to a survey by Money magazine, money is the number one topic married couples fight about; so talking about your financial priorities as a couple will alleviate stress in your marriage. Deciding on a comfortable house payment and the amount of cash you have for a down payment is the first order of business when exploring homeownership. Discussing your monthly budget and all your financial goals will ensure you’re ready to make the largest investment of your life.
2. Make it official.
Before you fall in love with the perfect home, Lisa Brouwer, Home Mortgage Consultant at Cornerstone Bank, suggests meeting with an experienced mortgage lender to get pre-approved. This will help you determine what you can afford and guide the process of looking at homes that fit within your budget. Plus, getting pre-approved before you find the house of your dreams sends the signal that you’re a serious buyer. You can bask in that love-at-first-sight glow knowing that your financing has already been secured.
3. Meet your match.
It’s time to meet a real estate agent who can “walk you down the aisle” of buying a home. This is the biggest purchase of your life so it’s important to find the right agent. “A good agent takes the time to get to know you, your lifestyle, and your needs in a home,” says Rachel Lamb, Keller Williams REALTOR®. In today’s competitive market, you need an agent who is available to show you homes as they hit the market, instead of waiting until “the one” is taken by another buyer. And don’t worry about covering the cost for an agent, real estate commissions are paid by the seller.
4. Find your dream home.
You want to find a house you can call home…a place where your love for one another can grow and flourish. Your REALTOR® will help you look past the cosmetic aspects and see what the house is really made of. When you find the right home, you will be able to start picturing your things in each room, just as you picture your life together as a couple.
5. The big day!
Just like your wedding day, the day you buy your new home should be filled with happiness and excitement instead of worry and stress. The relationship between your lender and your REALTOR® is also like a marriage and they’ll work together to make your home-buying experience go as smooth as possible. Their number one goal is make your dream home a reality with the least amount of stress possible. Buying a new home will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship…not only between you as husband and wife, but also with your lender and REALTOR®! As your family changes in the years to come, they’ll be ready to help you say “I do” to your next dream home!