Buying a home is both exciting and scary, especially if it’s your first house. If you’re like most people, the first thing you fantasize about doing is browsing the internet for homes in your area and setting appointments to tour your favorites. In reality, the home buying process shouldn’t start there. If you want a stress-free experience, you need to take a few steps back and follow these tips first — especially if your home will also be your office.

Get Your Credit In Check

Let’s say you’re hoping to buy in Rancho Santa Fe. Before you start looking at the many Rancho Santa real estate options available, you need to make sure your credit is on point. Most likely, you’ll need to finance at least a portion of your new home and it’s really hard to obtain a mortgage if you have less-than-stellar credit.

This is even more important for people who run home businesses or are self-employed. Since you don’t receive a regular paycheck, the lender may put more emphasis on your credit score when determining your loan eligibility. Also, keep in mind, self-employed individuals or home business owners need to provide several years worth of tax documentation when applying for a loan, but once you own a home is important you protect this asset, and for this, the use of home insurance is essential.

First, order your credit report and score from all three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You should also check your FICO score. It’s similar to a credit score, but the score range is different. You want to make sure both your credit scores and your FICO score are as high as possible because you don’t know which scores the lender is reviewing.

If you don’t have credit or your credit isn’t really that great, you should consider working to improve your credit score before you start the home buying process. This way, when you are approved for a home loan, you get the lowest interest rate possible for more visit at baka ihop befintliga lån. This also is beneficial if your business is fairly new because it gives you more time to track your monthly and annual income before discussing options with the bank.

Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage

One home buying tip that’s often overlooked is obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage. You should apply for mortgage pre-approval before you start looking at homes. When mortgage companies approve buyers, they give you a maximum pre-approval amount. This means if you purchase a house that costs more than your pre-approval amount, you’d need to have the additional cash on hand to cover the difference as well as the money you’ll need for your down payment and closing costs.

If you don’t have a good amount of excess cash available, knowing your maximum loan amount can save you a lot of time. You simply show the pre-approval letter to your real estate agent and he or she will show you houses at or below that cost.

Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Did you know there are real estate agents who focus on selling homes and agents who work exclusively with buyers? They are called buyer’s agents, and their entire job is to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. 

It’s important to remember here that the agent listed to sell the house is focused on selling the house. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work with him or her. Agents who are selling a home are still professional and knowledgeable. They probably know more about the house than a buyer’s agent would. However, it’s always important to have someone whose interest is focused on your best interests when making a large purchase, especially when you need your home to function as both your house and office, which is why this is one of the most important home buying tips you can follow.

Plan for your Future Personal and Business Needs

It’s easy to make a list of all the amenities you need a home to have currently, but you also need to consider how your lifestyle or business needs will change in the future. For example, if you plan to have children in the future, you might not want to look at one-bedroom condos. Ideally, the home you choose should grow with you and your family. Or you plan to scale your home business to a point where you might want to hire an assistant to work with you. In this case, instead of choosing a home with enough space for an office, you might consider choosing a home that has a finished basement that can be used as individual office space and a co-working space.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do when buying a house is to keep an open mind. Unless you’re building a new home, there’s a good chance, you’ll have to make some compromises. When you go into the process with an open mind, it’s a lot easier to see things in a positive light.

When you buy your first real estate property, you have a lot going on with moving in, perhaps buying some furniture, hosting your first party at the house and getting used to those mortgage payments. With all that excitement, it’s easy to overlook routine home maintenance, especially when you’ve never had to tackle these tasks before.

To keep things from getting overwhelming, we’ve created this home maintenance guide for first-time owners. And don’t worry – most of these tasks take just a few minutes or a quick call to a trusted pro.

When: Every fall before fire-burning season.

Clean Your Gutters and Roof Valleys

Why: Mucked-up gutters and roof valleys can caused water to back up and potentially enter your home via the foundation, roof or crawl space ? or even freeze inside your gutters and wreck them altogether.

How: Grab a sturdy ladder and take a peek. Use gloved hands or even a trowel to remove debris from gutters before flushing them with a garden hose to make sure there aren’t any hidden clogs.

Remove debris on the roof by hand and check out the flashing while you’re up there to make sure it’s free of rust and holes. If you find potential peaks or damages on your roof visit

When: Every fall or even twice annually if you live in a wooded area.

Check Wood Decks for Moisture

Why: Wood decks – including redwood and pressure-treated woods – need to be sealed and stained to prevent water damage and rot.

How: A quick splash test will tell you if the last seal is still working. If you fill a glass of water and spill it on your deck, you should see tiny beads of moisture form on the surface – a sign that the sealant is still repelling the water. If that doesn’t happen, then it’s time to reseal your deck.

When: You should do a splash test at the beginning of every summer and expect to reseal your deck every two or three years.

by Fresh Coat Eden Prairie

Check and Touch Up Exterior Paint

Why: Besides contributing to curb appeal, paint and stain serve as important protectants, preventing your gutters from rusting and wood siding from rotting.

How: Walk around your home – and get up on a ladder if needed – and look for chipping, peeling, blistering or cracking on every part, including the trim.

Touching things up could just mean sanding, scraping, patching, priming and repainting small areas. But if you see widespread areas of damage, it might be wise to repaint the whole thing.

When: Every summer.

Contemporary Basement by Synthesis Design Inc.