Stages of the Homebuying Journey
Preparing for the Homebuying Process, Step By Step
Buying a home is one of life's greatest milestones, but the journey to unlocking the front door of your dreams can feel very overwhelming for the many buyers.
So, how does one begin to understand the process that leads to walking into their own home? Here is an overview that can help you prepare, detailing the various stages of the homebuying journey, from the initial search all the way to closing.
The Planning Pays Off
Avoid becoming "house rich" but "cash poor" by sticking to what you can afford. According to Bankrate.com, banks generally advise that your mortgage payment not be more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
"Be realistic about what you can afford," recommends Ingrid Vincent, a real estate agent in Southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "Sometimes people will look $50,000 over their budget thinking they can get the seller to come down on price, but that's not going to happen in this market," she says. "More likely the buyer will wind up falling in love with something over budget and buy it."
This journey requires thorough prep but it can also be very enjoyable. While these stages may take up time and energy, it all leads to a wonderful home that you will call your own.
Tamar S. Snyder is a New York-based writer who specializes in personal finance and philanthropy. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Inc. magazine and MSN.com.