Your children are playing in the back yard as you and your spouse watch from the window. Although a heart-warming moment remains, deep down you know that your family of 5 has outgrown the 2 bedroom home. Moving is no easy process, nor is it fun in terms of finances, remodels, upgrades, etc. For anyone in the process of buying a new home, here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way.

Get Pre-Approval For Your Home Loan

When buying a home and getting a mortgage, there is a big difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved that most homebuyers don’t know about. Although being pre-qualified is useful, it’s better to get pre-approved.

Pre-qualification is when a homebuyer reaches out to their bank or lender and shares documents proving all income, debt, and assets for evaluation. Once a lender is able to review those documents, the homebuyer becomes pre-qualified. Pre-qualification is only the expected amount of approval and doesn’t carry as much weight as pre-approvals do.

If you’re buying a home, get a pre-approval first. This is where your lender has a solid total of the amount you can borrow for the loan. The process to becoming pre-approved is much more thorough, requires an application, and will give you the actual interest rate as well.

The process of sealing the deal on a new home is much easier when you have pre-approval so you know what you can afford.

You Can’t Put the Market on a Timer

There is no set schedule for buying and selling homes. Although there are expected timelines for the various processes throughout buying and selling, the actual sales will be different every time. Some homes sell after the first week of being on the market. Other homes can be on the market for months, even year timeframes. Homes are by no means a cheap purchase and therefore when dealing with money, time is often unable to be exactly on a schedule.

Additionally, you are purchasing a home that you intend to live in for a long period of time. Most people buy “forever homes” which they intend to live in for as long as they can. That being said, you don’t want to rush the decision of which home to buy, as you’re going to be living there for the long run.

Know the Neighborhood

When it comes down to the final decision of where and when to buy a home, do your research on the local in which you plan to move. You want to know what stores are in the location, the taxes in the area, local schools if you have children and more. Although you may not check everything off of your wish list in one location, it’s important that you like where you are moving. Any uneasy feelings of a neighborhood could become an issue in the future. It’s better to know and trust where you are moving.

Ultimately, this is your future home we are talking about. The place you will go to stay warm, spend time with family, hold all of your belongings safe. Buying a new house is more than just a piece of property with walls. It’s buying a home.