Dreaming of owning a home is great but setting realistic expectations can help make the process that much easier. A lot happens from the day you decide to buy a new home to your closing date when you sign on the dotted line.

You’ll learn about the overall market in your area.

You’ll get a lot of information on your financial status, and sometimes find out your financial status is not as solid as you thought. Or the homes in your area may be priced higher than you expected, making the home you imagined feel out of reach.

It’s easy to feel discouraged if things don’t go originally as planned.

To avoid this feeling, set realistic expectations early in the homebuying process. Your local licensed Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) can help you set and manage your expectations based on your specific needs and financial information. But the best way to avoid heartache during the homebuying process is to prepare for your journey by doing the math and prioritizing your needs!

Do the Math

Prior to talking to your MLO, try to get a grasp of your overall financial standing by understanding the following pieces of information when it comes to your finances:

  • Your current income (plus your partner’s income, if necessary)
  • Your debt and type of debt
  • Your credit score
  • Other assets you have in your name
  • How much you currently pay for rent

While you can simply map this out on a sheet of paper, if you have a bit more digging to do, using tools like Personal Capital and Mint can help you paint your overall financial picture. Once you have this information a call with your MLO will help paint a realistic picture of how much home you can afford.

Prioritize your needs!

To ensure you’re setting yourself up for success, prioritize what’s important in your first home.

A great way to assess your needs and mandatories is to create a list and rank these items in order of importance

Being honest about what’s important to you and your family is an essential part in the homebuying process. The more thorough and forthcoming you can be about what you want and need in a home, the more likely you’ll be to find a home that checks off all the right boxes!

Having this list will also greatly help your Real Estate Agent as it’s a great way to streamline what you’re hoping to see!

If you haven’t already, now would be a great time to review our step-by-step process that details buying your first home.

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