It’s often said that buying a home can be one of the most stressful processes in life, whether you are buying your first home or if you are an existing homeowner looking for somewhere new. There might be subtle differences in the process but the general advice remains the same; be prepared, do your homework and make sure you have given some due consideration to what could be considered one of the most important decisions you will ever make. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you navigate the home buying process with as little stress and upheaval as possible.

Crunch your numbers before you get started

Buying a home can be a huge decision and it’s surprising how much of our emotion we invest in the final outcome. Once you have set your heart on a specific property it is no longer just bricks and mortar, it is your potential new home and that can lead to unrealistic expectations and the potential for massive disappointment if things don’t turn out as you had hoped. One of the key ways to mitigate the stress of such emotional turmoil is by factoring your financial situation before you start looking for a new home in earnest. Speak to your accountant and make sure you know exactly what your budget is; you need to know what you can afford, what you are eligible to borrow what size of a deposit you can lay your hands on and what financial support you may be able to receive.

Get professional help and advice on your side

Whilst it’s true that you can do much of both the sales, marketing and legal work yourself, it’s definitely not advisable. Not only can local real estate agents have the requisite local knowledge, pricing history for your target location and all the insider information on the best schools, transport infrastructure and access to all the facilities you might need but an experienced team of conveyancing lawyers will help you to navigate and avoid the stress of settlements, transfers of title and all of the legal requirements. A strong team of experts at your side will help you focus on the decision making rather than your energy being swallowed up unnecessarily.

If you’re looking to invest, do your homework

If you see the next purchase as a stepping stone on a longer journey then you need to think carefully about how you invest you hard earned money. Firstly you need to research the target location and consider if it is an up and coming area. Are other people investing? Are prices showing a history of ascendancy or the opposite? Are there good transport links and access to popular and successful schools, shops and entertainment options? All these factors will contribute to the medium to long term value of your property and inform the return on your investment. Also, keep an eye out for properties that have the potential for extension and improvement, so that you have the opportunity to add value to your home. A great location and a property you can add value to will enable you to turn your initial investment into a more secure future for you and your family.