Buying a home is one of the few purchases that carry both financial and psychological weight. Whether it’s a first home, a dream home or it’s time to downsize as you become empty nesters, this is a vital step in your life and it has some ground rules that can help you be more successful.

There are many devastating and long term consequences if you make a wrong choice in your home purchase. This is a huge financial investment and it will have a lot of impact on your life, your credit score and your future. It’s important to understand all that you can about buying a home and what a mortgage is before you sign on the bottom line.

With so many websites dedicated to help first time home buyers, there isn’t any substitution for not knowing this vital information. According to financial experts, the more you know about home buying before you buy, the better.

It’s important to base home buying on full information and reason and to avoid allowing impulse or emotion to rule the decision. While buying a home can be an emotional time, it’s vital to keep those emotions in check and not allow them to cloud judgment when buying the home.

These five basic rules will help you to make a wise decision when you decide to buy a home.

  1. Pre-Qualify For Your Financing

    There’s nothing worse than finding a house that you love only to lose it because you have to wait for secure funding. Before you ever start to search, get your financing in place and secure. This can help you to save hours upon hours of searching that isn’t in your budget and it can help prevent you from losing that home of your dreams.

    You’ll gain more respect from listing agents when you already know that you have the financing and that you can afford the home before you shop. In this fashion, you’ll be able to save a lot of your time and that of listing agents. You’ll not have to look at houses that you can’t afford and you will feel more confident when you do find what you’re looking for.

    It’s also better this way as you can shop for the kind of mortgage you wish to have and choose the best possible mortgage plan. With so many types available you’re sure to have better options before you need it vs after.

  2. Consider The Community, Not Just The Home

    It’s always wise to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. The entire community. What kind of a community is it? What are the schools like? Is there a bus route? Are there any areas of the town that aren’t desirable?

    Taking a moment to look at the bigger picture can help you to make a wise decision and choose a house in the right neighborhood. Always consider the location. How far it is to shopping and work and whether or not you’ll be needing to be on a bus route.

  3. Be Fair When Making Offers

    Always carefully evaluate your offer. Too low and you may have it backfire. Too high and you may wind up losing thousands of dollars. Consider the local market and the fair asking price of the house when compared to other similar houses in the area. If you go too low you risk offending the seller as well. They may need the money for something major so tread softly here and get the feel of things before you low ball anyone.

    By always making wise decisions in this area you’ll be saving yourself some money and when you compare options in the housing industry you’ll be able to ascertain whether or not you’re making a good offer.

  4. Always Have A Home Inspection

    You’ll want to investigate all potential defects prior to making your offer. When compared to another home of similar style and value you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting a quality home and that you’re not going to have to do some major repairs.

    Ask around for a good home inspector. These usually are found via word of mouth so don’t expect any real estate agents to be overly forthcoming with the information.

  5. Avoid Alienating Sellers

    Don’t allow yourself to become judgmental or rude to the sellers. More than one real estate deal has found itself going south due to the animosity of a buyer and seller. Don’t be nitpicky. Some things are better left unsaid.

    Keep the good intent of the seller in mind and this should help you to smoothly move forward with your transaction. It can make or break the deal so don’t risk angering a seller by commenting on every detail that needs repair. Stick to the major and more obvious ones and allow the others to go unsaid. You can repair them after the deal and your seller will be much more likely to negotiate with you if you’re kind and easy to work with. Remember, it was their house, they already know so you don’t need to harp on any of the negatives.