Buying a home is a big investment and it can be a lot of fun. It can also be a stressful experience. No matter where you are in the home-buying process, there are steps you can take to get the best possible deal. Keep reading to learn six of them and then contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021 to get in touch with an experienced buyer’s agent.

1. Do Not Buy a Home Just for Today

There’s no way around it: A home is a big investment. It is what holds a family down and provides stability. Most Americans who sold their home last year had lived in it for at least a decade. In fact, nearly half of homeowners are currently living in the first home they purchased. You should buy your home with the idea that you will live there for at least five years.

2. Don’t Gamble on Your Home

Yes, your home is an investment but it is also where you will be living. No mater how safe it may seem in your area, the real estate market is a gamble. Do not take risks unless you can afford to lose. Yes, buy a home that is likely to appreciate in value, but do not choose a home based on the idea that you can sell it in a year and make a profit.

3. Know What’s Most Important to You

Once you walk through a home you love it can be easy to convince yourself that it has everything you want. Instead, list what’s most important to you before you start touring homes. Do you want a home with curb appeal? Or is that third bedroom more important? If you make a decision in advance you can reduce the chance of making an emotional decision on such an expensive purchase.

4. Don’t Budge on Your Budget

Your budget should be based on a single thing: What you can afford. The sad truth is that almost one out of there people who bought a home last year were over budget. This can lead to issues for many years to come.

5. Put 20% Down if at All Possible

Yes, you may be able to get a loan without putting 20% down but it is much better if you can manage it. If not, you will private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can be significant. At least 20% down also lowers the financial risk. What you want to avoid is owning more than your home is worth, and if you have put 20% down this is much more difficult to do.

6. Get Pre-Approved

One of the worst things you can do to yourself is to find the home of your dreams only to find that you cannot get a lender to approve you. The good news is that this is easy to prevent: Get pre-approval so that you know exactly what you can afford.

If you are ready to find out more about how to buy a home in the smartest way possible, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021.