The decision to buy a home is often the most significant financial transaction that an individual will ever make. So many expenses, responsibilities, and decisions come with being a homeowner. You may feel pressure from lenders, family members, or even yourself to take on these new obligations for fear of missing out on opportunities in life. But if you’re feeling too much stress about becoming a homeowner because of your current finances or personal situation, it’s important to remember there are ways around this! Here are four steps to reduce stress as you embark on your first-time home buying journey:

Find the Best Real-Estate Agent 

This is the most crucial step to reduce stress when buying a home. Find someone who will provide you with access and information about homes that fit your unique needs. Ask friends for referrals or check online reviews of agents in your area.

Get organized before meeting with them. Go in armed to ask all the questions you need answering during their initial consultation visit without feeling rushed. A good realtor should help ensure this process goes smoothly from beginning to end. And hopefully they’ll lessen some of your first-time homeowner anxiety!

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s imperative to get pre-approved for mortgage financing before you start shopping. You need to know how much money you can afford to spend. Also, you’ll need to understand your credit score requirements. This will help the lender to better assess the terms of the loan. While this may seem like an extra step in the process of buying a house, it’s worth it. Prepping ahead helps reduce stress. You won’t be left wondering if you’ll be able to “qualify” for a new home or not.

Plan the Move 

Moving into a new home is exciting but an overwhelming amount of responsibility. When you’re planning your move to make sure it’s stress-free! Give yourself plenty of time to pack and label boxes before the actual moving day arrives. Do this especially if you hire movers. Doing so can be much faster than doing everything yourself. Pack the essentials to help reduce stress. Remember to pack smartly for your pet. This includes packing pet food, water, leashes or crates (if needed). Also, don’t forget their medication in case they get separated. As you settle into your new home, remember to take time for yourself as well. Adjusting takes some time and can be pretty tricky on top of all the other responsibilities of buying a home.

Save Enough Cash Beforehand 

Lastly, remember that buying a home is not cheap! You’ll need to pay for closing costs on top of the down payment and monthly mortgage payments. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk with your lender about how you can finance these expenses if possible. In fact, they may be able to offer some financing options. Many recommend saving up an emergency fund before making this huge financial decision. This will help reduce the stress of unexpected expenses when moving into your new home.