Our Pasadena area real estate website is visited by thousands of home buyers daily.  All of them with one purpose - finding a Pasadena home for sale that is right for them at the best possible price.   However, home buying can be very stressful.  So what can you do to take the stress out of  the home buying experience.

[caption id="attachment_1923" align="alignnone" width="553" caption="Photography by Sasha Netchaev - Colorado Bridge Pasadena California"]Road to Home Ownership Sasha Netchaev Photography[/caption]

There are 3 absolute must "do"s to the home buying process:

1.  Schedule an appointment with a real estate agent for a full blown home buying consultation.

Do your research first.  Find a real estate agent by either getting suggestions from friends and family or googling them - for example:  google Pasadena Real Estate Agent.  See who comes up, read that Realtor™ on-line reviews and also click on some of the links to get a feel for who they are.  Once you identify a real estate agent, give them a call to schedule a consultation.

I always tell my clients - "information is power!"  The more you know about the real estate buying process, the easier, more hassle-free it will be for you.

At a real estate home buying consultation, you should expect to learn more about the real estate agent, market conditions, available home inventory in different price ranges, an overview of the home buying process.

Look for a Realtor™ who communicates well, makes you feel comfortable and also "interviews you" as well.  Great real estate agents are in demand and will be careful who they choose to work with.

2.  Get pre-approved for a home loan.

You should absolutely get fully approved for a home loan before going out to look at homes for sale.  Why?  Several reasons.  First, you need to understand what home price range you qualify for.  I always recommend that you have a comprehensive consultation with a mortgage broker or direct lender.  Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with several names of proven mortgage experts to work with.

During this consultation, which could easily take place over the phone, you and your mortgage broker should discuss your financial situation, expected down payment, whether or not you will be getting any gift money towards that down payment, whether you are self employed or a salaried employee, your expected monthly payment, your understanding of your credit score, etc.

Your lender will be able to give you an idea over the phone as to what price point you may qualify for, however, you will need to provide full documentation which will include your bank statements, pay stubs, and income tax returns.

This brings us to the 2nd point of the mortgage lender consultation.  A great home mortgage consultant will ensure that all the documents are reviewed and all underwriting conditions are cleared and anticipated BEFORE you start looking for your home.  This way, once you find your perfect dream home, you will be able to fully concentrate on that home vs run around to collect financial information.

3.  Keep your timeline flexible.

The most stressful time for most home buyers is during the end of the escrow period.  Remember that your real estate agent will be working hard to coordinate all home buying activities for you.  The contractual closing date even though it seems like it's set in stone is not always the actual closing date.  In most instances, home purchases close on a different day.  Why?  There are many variables and reasons for that, but the most likely scenario is that the lender or the home seller might need extra time for various reasons

Your real estate agent will be able to give you a pretty good idea of the closing date about 4 or 5 days before.  As much as you'd like to schedule that moving truck, wait! - until you get the go ahead from your agent.

Best practice is to schedule a few extra days, a week or even a few weeks to a month especially if you are dealing with a short sale!  This will help you keep your sanity.  Trust your real estate agent to guide you along this process.

READ MORE:  Pasadena Real Estate Guide

As always, we are here to help you with your home buying needs in the Greater Pasadena area - whether you are a first time home buyer or a looking for a luxury estate, give us a call at 626-629-8439 and we'll guide you through the process with the minimal amount of stress.  Be prepared!