Buying a house is one of the most consequential purchases you can make, so take your time and learn a few tips to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls and ensure a happy transition into your new home!

A great starting point when searching for homes is to hire an agent. They can help you skip the boring work and connect you with great house options and allow you to bypass digging through many mundane listings.

Another tip is to start the loan process early. Try to find a mortgage broker that you like and discuss how you can get low interest rates. You should also try to avoid an ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) because it is a riskier loan and doesn’t provide the state of mind that a FRM (fixed-rate mortgage) can offer.

Another great tip for a home buyer that is curious about buying a used home is to first get an inspection for a home that you are seriously considering to purchase. There are a lot of details underneath the hood of a home, such as the HVAC, plumbing, wiring, insulation, etc. that can really make or break a new home, and an inspection is the best way to get a clear answer for these factors.

One of the toughest decisions is made once you have filtered down to a few options of good homes. The next tips are some criteria to compare each home with, making this tough decision a little easier. Some of the common factors include: affordability, safety, proximity to services, etc. Think about what it is that you value in a neighborhood and comparing can become easier!

One of the last steps in the buying process is the negotiation. Practice those bartering skills and see how a bit of negotiation can take a chunk off the total price of your new home.