1. Thou shalt not be unsure about what you want.

Make decisions ahead of time based on what you know you can afford, not what you wish you could have. Know what kind of home you want, and know what you want to avoid. Know what you qualify for, and stick with that. When you view a home, look at the house itself, and don't be emotionally swayed by the decor.

2. Thou shalt not bite off more than you can chew.

Do not make this decision without realistically looking at your finances and planning ahead of time. You need at least one steady income in the family, good credit, little debt, good financial habits, a steadily growing savings, and realistic expectations. Do not view one home without first being pre-approved for a mortgage.

3. Thou shalt not proceed without having your finances in order.

Before purchasing a home, your lender will look at all of your finances, assets, and spending history. Be prepared to settle down, and make financial decisions many months in advance that reflect that decision. Create a financial plan long before you make the leap into home purchasing and stick to it. Set up funds for long-term stability. Have an emergency fund. Have a savings account that is steadily growing, and don't take anything out of it. Have some money set aside for closing, and don't touch that money.

4. Thou shalt not make a decision without research.

You're about to make a very big financial decision. If you're going to research any purchase in your life, you're going to want to research the current housing market and the surrounding neighborhood of the home you're looking to purchase. Before making an offer, make sure that you know the monthly payment. Many real estate agents will want you to understand that a few extra thousand dollars on the entire price might not make any difference in your monthly payment and could be feasible depending on your qualifications and financial security. Speak with your real estate agent closely on this issue so that you don't miss out on choosing the house of your dreams.


5. Thou shalt not make other large financial decisions before buying a home.

Purchasing a home requires proof that you are using your money wisely. In the weeks and months before you decide to purchase a home, avoid making large purchases, and instead focus on maintaining what you already have. Do not make big career decisions that could affect your finances, such as changing jobs, becoming self-employed, or quitting your job. Avoid large purchases such as vehicles or even furniture.  Speak with your loan officer about financial decisions that could negatively affect your options many months before purchase. Changing banks, co-signing for someone else's loan, making large deposits into your account, paying off collections, and using money from your emergency, savings, or closing funds can all negatively affect your goal of buying a home.

6. Thou shalt not neglect your credit.

Do not make any inquiries to your credit score before purchasing a home. Any major decision that involves checking your credit, such as signing a lease, purchasing a car, or signing up for a credit card shows up on your credit report and drops your credit score a few points for each inquiry. When you have too many inquiries that are close together, that suggests to lenders that you are spending more than you can handle. Keep your credit spending at a maximum of 25% of your credit limit and maintain regular payments on any credit lines that you have open.

7. Thou shalt not have extensive debts.

Lenders take note of your current debts. A poor history of accruing unnecessary debt can hinder the process of buying a home, especially if you have difficulty paying them.

8. Thou shalt not attempt to do your home inspection.

It is never a good idea to purchase a house without first inspecting it. It's also rarely a good idea to do the inspection yourself. A person with a background in construction can assess the quality of a home, but only a professional home inspector is trained to look for possible issues without anybody else being in his pocket to influence his decisions. The costs of hiring a home inspector are a far wiser investment than paying for unexpected maintenance costs in the future.


9. Thou shalt not skim over the contract.

Know the terms and conditions of the entire contract. Hire a lawyer that specializes in real estate law to assist you with understanding and negotiating throughout this process. Sometimes a lawyer is provided by your real estate company. If so, take advantage of that service.


10. Thou shalt not try to do everything yourself.

Assemble a team of trusted professionals to assist you in your home purchase. You will need a real estate agent, a real estate lawyer, a loan officer, a home inspector, and an insurance agent. Speak with your real estate agent about other professionals that can save you money in the long run, such as an HVAC unit inspector.

List4Less Realty is a full-service real estate firm located in Savannah, Tennessee serving West Tennessee home owners and buyers with real estate listings and showings.  We look forward to serving you when you are ready to buy or sell your home in the region.  For all things related to real estate in Savannah, TN and the surrounding area, there's only one result at our agency: SOLD.