1. A good real estate agent is key.

There are so many reasons to hire a real estate agent beyond the fact that they have an insider’s knowledge to available properties. They can also help you navigate complicated purchase contracts for one. But you want to make sure you find the right agent for you; not someone who’s only interested in collecting a hefty commission check. A good real estate should be a trusted adviser, act ethically, advocate on your behalf, represent your best interests and have a good understanding of the market or neighborhood you want to buy in. So don’t be afraid to interview several real estate agents, and ask them these key questions. If their responses check out, they may be a good fit for you.

2. It’s going to be a long process that requires your immediate attention.

From the preapproval process to house hunting to closing, you’re going to need time to devote to the entire home buying process. The complete process can take well over 60 days. In some cases, you may need to stop ‘at-the-drop-of-a-hat’ to look at a house that just hit the market. Homes can go under contract quickly, depending on the price point. The lower the price, the better the area, the faster it goes. Make sure you also take the appropriate steps to help get financed and have enough saved up.

3. You’ll likely make multiple offers.

The housing market is not slowing down, especially in Colorado. Homes are in high demand but low in supply, which makes the home buying process VERY competitive. Making an offer on a home is a huge step, probably one of the biggest you’ll take through the entire home buying process. But in today’s market you should expect to make multiple offers before one gets accepted. This can be a frustrating process but it’s important to keep in mind that the right home is out there.

4. Determine what you can compromise on.

When my wife and I started looking for our house, we knew exactly what we wanted: a big yard, room downstairs with a sink for home brewing, open floorplan, etc. We ended up with a small yard and no room designated for home brewing – and we’re still really happy. It became very cumbersome to even find a home that met all of our expectations and when we did, someone inevitably came to the table with a higher offer. The point is don’t let your expectations squash your goal of owning a home.

5. It’s expensive – no, really.

Your home itself might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that doesn’t include other overlooked expenses, including: inspection costs, appraisal fees, closing fees, moving expenses, and any items such as new furniture or landscaping materials for your new house. You’re probably aware of these, but don’t forget to add these costs to your budget which could be as much as $10,000 or more – on top of your down payment.

6. The juice is worth the squeeze.

Yes, buying a home is expensive. It’s a commitment and it can certainly be stressful to the point you want to bail and keep renting. But, if you’re able to, don’t give up and see it through.  Once the process is over and you’re lounging in your new living room, looking at the view through your window, and putting equity in your pocket – you won’t be able to hold back that smile.  After all, your home isn’t only the place where you live, it’s an investment that you benefit from – not your landlord.

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